NEOSHO, Mo. – The Mineral Area women capped the basketball regular season with perhaps their most satisfying road victory on Saturday.
Freshman Quincy Erickson achieved the highest single-game point total for any member of the roster this season with 28 points as the Cardinals topped Crowder 77-68.
Yasmine Pankey added 13 points with five assists, and Michaela Ayers scored 11 off the bench. Olivia Jecty-Brown saw increased minutes, and equaled guard Nijah Moore with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Mineral Area (9-12, 7-8) managed to curtail the perimeter threat of Crowder (9-11, 7-7) enough to gain separation in the fourth quarter and atone for two previous losses.
Erickson drained her fifth 3-pointer early in the period, and Jecty-Brown made it 58-53 with a spinning finish in the lane. Erickson added nine rebounds and four assists while sinking 9-of-10 free throws.
Ayers drilled her third triple off a kickout pass from Kayleigh Winch, who then used a pump fake to restore a 63-57 margin midway through the fourth.
Crowder pulled to within 64-60 on a layup through contact by Payge Dahmer, but the Cardinals made eight consecutive free throws inside the final minute to hold on.
Sophomore guard Fiona Wilson paced the Roughriders with 24 points and eight rebounds. Forward Makayla White added 16 points.
Crowder established its largest lead of 35-27 after Wilson hit a driving layup, and Ashley Vaught sank a 3-pointer following a MAC turnover late in the second quarter.
But the Cardinals responded with back-to-back threes from Ayers and Pankey before intermission, and drew even on a putback by Jecty-Brown early in the third.
Moore, who was whistled for three charging fouls, put Mineral Area ahead moments later with a driving layup. Pankey punctuated the pivotal 9-0 spurt with another 3-pointer for a 47-40 lead.
Erickson provided a blistering start with four 3-pointers in the first six minutes, and Jayla Sample made it 16-9 off a steal and outlet pass from Pankey.
Crowder answered with a 10-0 run to close the first quarter, getting a second-chance basket from Lexi Keeling and 3-point play in the paint from White.
The Cardinals forced 18 turnovers in the game, and will be idle until April 6 when they host Jefferson in the first round of the Region 16 tournament.