PEORIA, Ill. - The No. 2 NIACC women's basketball team dropped a 66-62 decision to No. 5 Illinois Central Friday in the semifinals of the Illinois Central Cougar Holiday Tournament.
NIACC, which trailed 25-12 after the first quarter and 37-29 at the half, suffered only its second loss of the season.
Since the 2013-14 season, NIACC and Illinois Central have met 11 times with the Cougars winning 6 and the Lady Trojans winning 5.
NIACC (13-2) faces No. 10 Owens CC in the consolation game at 2 p.m. on Saturday. No. 8 Kirkwood faces Illinois Central in the 4 p.m. Saturday title game.
Kirkwood stopped Owens CC 77-63 in the other semifinal game on Friday.
In Friday's contest against Illinois Central, NIACC's Adria Stewart converted a layup to make it 61-58 with 1:27 to play in the contest and Mikayla Homola drained a 3-point goal with 19 seconds left to make it 64-62. Illinois Central made two free throws with less than 10 seconds left to make it the final margin four points.
NIACC, which had topped Illinois Central 99-82 in its season opener, was led by sophomore UU Longs with 18 points, three assists and two rebounds. Sophomore Kelsie Willert scored 15 points and Homola scored 10 points.
Also for the Lady Trojans, Laker Ward had six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Khalilah Holloway had six rebounds and two steals.
Illinois Central was led by Madison Faulkner with 18 points. The Cougars also received 15 points from Bailey Larsen and 10 points from Kellyn Maynard.