ROCHESTER, NY: For the second time in as many seasons, the Genesee Community College men's basketball team will play for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region III Division II title. No. 2 Genesee punched its ticket into Sunday's championship after knocking off No. 3 Niagara County Community College 88-83 in the semifinals at Monroe Community College on Saturday night.
There were four ties and 14 lead changes on Saturday night and neither team held a lead higher than nine throughout the game.
Naquil Jones scored 21 of his game-high 31 points in the second half and the sophomore was a perfect 10-10 from the free-throw line, all attempts coming in the final 20-minutes.
Ervin Mitchell needed just 18 points entering Saturday's contest to overtake the school record for most career points. He scored 13 points in the first half and with 13:09 left in the second and the Cougars trailing 60-58, converted a layup to tie the game and break the record. He finished with 26 points.
The Cougars used a 10-0 run to take a 64-60 lead with 11:14 to play in the second half and the Cougars did not trail the rest of the way.
Jones went 6-6 from the line during the last 30-seconds of the game to keep the GCC lead out of reach.
Gabriel Burroughs went 3-4 from 3pt-range for GCC and tallied 11 points. Tre'Shaun Perry had a game-high 12 assists and also grabbed six rebounds. Mitchell also grabbed six boards and Jason Perry Murray finished with six points and five rebounds.
Mitchell now sits at the top of the all-time scoring list in GCC men's basketball history with 1383 points. He passes current Cougars head coach Terry George, who scored 1374 points from 2002-2003.
Genesee (21-8) will play No. 1 Monroe Community College for the second year in a row on Sunday in the finals. MCC defeated No. 4 Erie Community College in overtime on Saturday, 100-88. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.