NIACC's Longs comes up big in national tourney win

TT Longs gets high fives from NIACC coaches Todd Ciochetto and Jareese Willams Sr.
TT Longs gets high fives from NIACC coaches Todd Ciochetto and Jareese Willams Sr.

HARRISON, Ark. - Ty'neecia Longs may not be very tall in stature.

Her listing of 5 feet, 2 inches in the program is proof of that.

But she more than makes up for her lack of height with sheer determination and grit. And it was never more evident than Tuesday at the NJCAA Division II national tournament.

Longs, a freshman from New Hope, Minn., scored eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and collected four steals in 15 minutes, 41 seconds of action to help lift second-seeded NIACC women's basketball team to a 90-74 win over 15th-seeded Wayne County CC.

"TT was awesome at the back of the press," NIACC fifth-year coach Todd Ciochetto said after the win inside the Pioneer Pavilion on the North Arkansas College campus.

She was also awesome grabbing rebounds against much taller opponents and converting layups. Longs, who did not take a shot in the first half, was 3 of 5 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free-throw line in the second half.

NIACC led 40-38 at the half and outscored Wayne County 50-36 in the second 20 minutes to advance to Wednesday's quarterfinals.

"My energy helps everyone with their energy," Longs said. "I'm always positive so it brings positive vibes everywhere we go.

"When I'm positive, it just helps everyone stay positive."

NIACC (27-5) received 27 points from Mandy Willems, 16 points from Jada Buford and 15 points from Autam Mendez as the Lady Trojans won their 16th straight contest.

The Lady Trojans face Cape Fear CC (North Carolina) at 8 p.m. Wednesday with a berth in the final four on the line. Seventh-seeded Cape Fear CC stopped Metropolitian CC 91-55 in its tourney opener Wednesday.

Willems connected on eight 3-point goals in the first-round victory and became NIACC's career all-time 3-point leader with 179. She also tied the NJCAA Division II single-game record for 3-point goals in a game with eight.

Willems now has 814 points this season, which ranks second on the school's all-time single season list. She trails Chelsey Jacox, who scored 833 points in the 2013-14 season.

"She should have had 12 or 13 3s," Ciochetto said. "She wouldn't shoot the ball early.

"She was a little nervous but she's the best shooter in the country."

NJCAA Division II women's basketball tournament

Tuesday's results

Kansas City (Kan.) 82, Chesapeake 56

Pima CC 81, Lake Michigan College 79

Cape Fear CC 91, Metropolitian CC 55

NIACC 90, Wayne County CC 74

6 p.m. - (1) Illinois Central vs. (16) North Platte CC

8 p.m. - (8) South Suburban vs. (9) Union County

Wednesday, March 20

11 a.m. - (4) Moraine Valley vs. (13) Lackawanna

1 p.m. - (5) Niagara County vs. (12) Sinclair

Consolation round

3 p.m. - Chesapeake vs. Lake Michigan

Championship round

6 p.m. - Kansas City (Kan.) vs. Pima CC

8 p.m. - Cape Fear vs. NIACC

Thursday, March 21

Consolation round

9 a.m. - Metropolitian CC vs. Wayne County CC

NIACC's 2018-19 season (28-5 overall)

NIACC 95, Illinois Central 89 (OT)

NIACC 104, Bay College 74

NIACC 111, Marshalltown CC 65

NIACC 126, RCTC 86

Trinity Valley CC 78, NIACC 73

Johnson County CC 82, NIACC 74

NIACC 120, Kalamazoo Valley CC 70

NIACC 117, Bryant & Stratton (Wisconsin) 95

NIACC 79, Northeast CC 68

NIACC 113, Southwestern 92

NIACC 77, Bryant & Stratton (Wisconsin) 70

Illinois Central 84, NIACC 77

NIACC 88, Parkland College 76

NIACC 79, Iowa Central 62

Iowa Western 85, NIACC 56


Kirkwood 77, NIACC 71

NIACC 102, Southeastern 69

NIACC 116, Little Priest Tribal College 69

NIACC 119, Ellsworth 54

NIACC 99, Iowa Lakes 70

NIACC 107, Southwestern 72

NIACC 74, Iowa Central 63

NIACC 68, Kirkwood 62

NIACC 101, Little Priest Tribal College 66

NIACC 98, Iowa Lakes 74

NIACC 131, Ellsworth 56


NIACC 92, Southeastern 61

NJCAA Region XI tournament

NIACC 94, Little Priest Tribal College 56

NIACC 88, Iowa Central 49

NIACC 77, Kirkwood 70

NJCAA Division II national tournament

NIACC 90, Wayne County CC 73


NJCAA Divison II results
March 19, 2019 NJCAA Divison II results
No. 10 NIACC rolls, 120-71
November 24, 2018 No. 10 NIACC rolls, 120-71