The North Idaho College Cardinals rallied from an 11-point deficit in the first half to overcome host Salt Lake CC 81-76 and advance to the finals of the Region 18 men’s basketball championships on Friday.
North Idaho will play top-seeded Southern Idaho, a 68-65 winner over No. 4 seed Snow in the other semifinal, in the championship game today at 6:30 p.m. PST. The region winner advances to a district playoff in which a berth to the NJCAA national tournament will be at stake.
The third-seeded Cardinals (24-7) had five players score in double figures, led by Keon Lewis with 21. Antoine Hosley added 19, Peter Joksimovic 13, Michael Middlebrooks 12 and Kaj Sherman 10. Sherman added 11 rebounds.
NIC withstood the Bruins’ long-range attack as Salt Lake hit 11 of 24 of its 3-point attempts for 45.8 percent but only 41.7 overall from the field. NIC only made 5 of 17 3-point attempts but hit 50 percent of its shots overall. NIC took 28 of its 32 free throws in the second half and hit 18. Lewis made 9 of 10 free throws for the game.
The second-seeded Bruins (22-9) were led by Agustin Ambrosino’s 16 points.
North Idaho College’s season ended with a 66-61 loss to host Salt Lake CC in the Region 18 tournament semifinals.
The No. 1-seeded Cardinals (23-6) shot just 39.1 percent for the game. The Bruins (18-12) hit 51 percent of their shots, taking only four 3-point attempts. Despite the shooting disparity, the game featured 11 lead changes. NIC had it largest lead, four, with 7:26 left.
Korina Baker led NIC with 21 points and Ashleigh Kelmanpoto scored 10. Julia Salmio had 11 rebounds.
Marissa Robbins scored 24 points and Sophia Hepworth 21 for the Bruins.
No. 22 Gonzaga suffered its first loss as New Mexico pounded out 16 hits in an 11-6 victory in the first game of a three-game series at Albuquerque, N.M.
The Bulldogs (10-1) came back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game in a four-run fifth. They took a 6-4 lead in the seventh before the Lobos (3-9) tied it in the bottom of the inning and took the lead for good in the eighth, with Ryan Padilla’s two-run double the big blow in a five-run rally.
Alex Sanford had two hits for Gonzaga.
• Washington State (7-4) opened up an eight-game road trip with a 2-1 loss to UNLV at Las Vegas. The Cougars had eight hits, two each by Jason Monda and Tony Richards.
J.D. Leckenby took the loss, giving up both of UNLV’s runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Mark Shannon led UNLV (8-6) with three hits, including a solo home run.
Track and field
Washington’s distance medley relay team, with two Spokane natives running, gave the Huskies women’s program its first victory in an NCAA Indoor Championship event. The relay squad, which includes senior Jordan Carlson (Shadle Park) and freshman Baylee Mires (Mead), won in 11 minutes, 5.20 seconds. The UW men’s team, including Brad Whitley (Central Valley), placed 10th.
Idaho senior Jeremy Klas finished in a tie for 11th in the men’s pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Nampa, Idaho, with a mark of 17 feet, 4¼ inches.
Washington State junior Stephan Scott-Ellis finished 13th in the men’s long jump with a leap of 23-5¼.
Idaho diver Paige Hunt finished 13th in a field of 41 at the NCAA Zone E championships at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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