Hobbled Golden Rams put 22-game winning streak on line at nationals

Third-ranked, nationally, Anoka-Ramsey Community College enters the NJCAA national tournament riding a 22-game winning streak.

The Golden Rams opened nationals March 13 against No. 10 ranked West Georgia Tech at Rochester Community and Technical College.

After a 2-3 start to the season, the Rams (22-3) have seen nothing but gold since starting the current winning streak with 72-60 win against Northland Community College Dec. 6.

With that success, several Golden Rams were named to MCAC post-season lists including coach Dave DeWitt who was named Southern Division Coach of the Year.

Olivia Antilla and Maria Loughlin earned All-MCAC first-team honors. Antilla was named division player of the week four times and Loughlin earned the honor once during the 13-week conference season.

Antilla was one of the most dominating players in the division. She averaged 25 points and 9.7 rebounds per game and shot 50-percent from the field and converted 81.4-percent from the free throw line. Antilla also averaged over three assists per game. Loughlin and Erica Parker also averaged more than three assists per game.

Laughlin averaged the second most steals per game in the conference with 3.5 and her 16.9 points per game was fourth best.

Mataya Racek posted the second-best 3-point percentage at .395, making 30-of-76 shots.

Sophomore Nikki Shaub earned second-team honors before tearing an ACL and freshman Ashley Carter earned honorable mention honors.

The Golden Rams shot 40.8-percent from the field and 73-percent from the free throw line during the season.

They also put up the most 3-point attempts (555) and made 29.4-percent.

Anoka-Ramsey won by an average of 19 points and the defense allowed just 56.6 points per game.

To reach nationals, Anoka-Ramsey won two games in the Region XIIIA tournament. They survived a score by Ridgewater College in Coon Rapids 82-79, March 1.

Ridgewater led by 10 points at the break but a 43-30 second half was enough to reach the region final.

Antilla had a game-high 28 points and eight rebounds to led the Golden Rams. Guard Maria Loughlin had 22 points and four assists but five steals and one blocked shot help spark the comeback with a broken hand.

Anoka-Ramsey scored a 65-55 win to top Minnesota West in the regional final aided by Racek’s game-high 19 points coming off the bench.

Antilla had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Loughlin played only 18 minutes before fouling out after scoring eight points.

Injuries and foul trouble eliminated the Golden Rams bench.

Jason Olson is at
jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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