Watch out for these Cyclones…that's what opponents are going to start saying. It's still early in the season, but the NJCAA Division II No. 12 Cyclones have already knocked down three nationally ranked teams, including their toughest opponent to date—No. 7 St. Louis Community College—in an 83-75 victory.
This marks the ninth straight and 10th overall win for Moraine Valley who continues to step to the challenge. The Cyclones were up against a very physical and strong force in the Archers, who charged to the basket and forced a few players into foul trouble. It was nearly halfway into the first quarter before either team could break the 2-2 tie, and by the end the Archers led 16-12. The second quarter became a battle of the threes. When St. Louis scored a three, Julia Ruzevich or Ashley Hunter sunk one. The Cyclones fought to a narrow lead but the Archers countered, and neither stayed ahead for long. By halftime, the Cyclones led 43-39 after a few free throws from Erin Greenfield.
The second half saw starters Julia Ruzevich and Hennessey Handy in foul trouble and relegated to the bench. Greenfield, Elizabeth Coffey and Nicole Poole picked up the torch with all-around play to keep their team alive while Kate Ruzevich and Hunter carried the scoring load. With more back-and-forth play, the game was tied again at the end of the third quarter. Although turnovers hurt both teams in the final push, once the Cyclones took the lead, they held on through the ending buzzer.