Owens men fall in NJCAA national semifinals

3/24/2013
BLADE STAFF
Owens-NJCAA

Owen’s James Kelly puts the Express up three midway through the second half with a slam dunk, but it wasn't enough as the Express lost 80-75 to Rend Lake in the NJCAA D-II national semifinals.

Owen’s James Kelly puts the Express up three midway through the second half with a slam dunk, but it wasn't enough as the Express lost 80-75 to Rend Lake in the NJCAA D-II national semifinals.
Owen’s James Kelly puts the Express up three midway through the second half with a slam dunk, but it wasn't enough as the Express lost 80-75 to Rend Lake in the NJCAA D-II national semifinals.

DANVILLE, Ill. — The Express men's basketball team saw their national title hopes dashed in an 80-75 loss to No. 12 Rend Lake College in the NJCAA D-II tournament semifinals.

The Express held a 58-52 lead with 8:27 left, but Rend Lake dominated down the stretch and didn't miss from the foul line.

Owen’s Joe Retic II had a game-high 25 points, three assists, and three steals, while James Kelly added 15 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks.

Javon Rice totaled 14 points.

Jeril Taylor led Rend Lake with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Bronson Verhines added 17 points and nine rebounds.

The Express will play in the third-place contest at 6:30 p.m. today.

Women

Owens 73, St. Louis CC 51

EAST PEORIA, Ill. — Meshia Smith stole the show as the No. 9 Express rallied from a terrible start in the NJCAA D-II consolation semifinals.

Karahn Scott led the Express offensively with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Uniqua Mitchell totaled 15 points, four rebounds, and two blocks.

Smith finished with 14 points, a game-high 10 rebounds, a game-high four blocks and one assist.

The Express will play in the 7th place game at 1 p.m. today.

St. Louis had four players in double-figure scoring.