NORTH EAST, Pa. - March 3 - The Erie Community College women's basketball team got a combined 32 points from sophomore guards Riana Ward (Bronx, N.Y./Wings Academy) and Bianca Dennis (Cleveland, Ohio/Maple Heights) as the Kats recorded a 66-60 win over Mercyhurst North East Saturday afternoon at the Region III Tournament held at the Ligouri Fieldhouse. Mercyhurst NE was the top seed in the tournament.
The Kats, now 15-13, will play Jamestown Community College at 1 p.m. Sunday for the Region III title. Jamestown CC defeated Alfred State College, 58-49. The Kats split their two games with Jamestown CC in the regular season.
Ward led the Kats with 17 points while Dennis had 15 points and eight rebounds.
Mercyhurst North East opened the game with a 14-2 run but ECC rallied with a 19-7 run to make it 21-21 with 2:42 left in half on a layup by Kadijah Kidd (Cheektowaga, N.Y./Cheektowaga). Mercyhurst NE then closed the half with a 6-0 run.
The Saints held a 49-38 lead with 10:47 remaining before the Kats would tie the game at 57 with 2:30 left on a layup by Dennis. Freshman forward Charmaine Weaver (Cheektowaga, N.Y./Cheektowaga) then gave ECC a 59-58 lead when scoring with 52 seconds remaining. With ECC holding a 61-60 lead, Ward sank five of six foul shots in the game's final 17 seconds for the win.