Velez drains three-pointer at buzzer to upend Angelina, 71-70

KILGORE, TX -- Kilgore College Lady Ranger Richelle Velez drained a three-pointer Feb. 28 with a split second left before the buzzer to defeat Angelina College, 71-70, triggering a crazed rush to center court by the home crowd.

The game was KC's annual Lady Ranger Cancer Awareness game which raised $6,960 by halftime for Cancer awareness.  In the second half, an anonymous donor made a generous contribution to raise the total amount of contributions to $10,000.

After a back-and-forth first half, KC (19-9, 13-6 Region XIV) tied the game up at 61 points with 4:50 left in the game when Hennesy Handy dished a pass to Jade Thurmon for a layup.

After the teams traded turnovers, Breyanna Brown hit a close-range shot to begin a 7-0 run for Angelina (18-11, 10-9 Region XIV).

The Lady Roadrunners capitalized on a missed three-pointer and two missed free throws to go ahead of KC, 68-61, with 2:40 left in the game.

With 2:15 left in the game, Danielle Meador hit a three-pointer to get within four points of AC, 68-64.

On the next possession, AC missed a three-pointer and Thurmon scored to get within two points of AC, 68-66, with 1:25 left in the game.

Angelina missed another three-pointer and Meador grabbed a clutch rebound (one of 9 rebounds Meador had in the game).

KC sprinted down the court and Thurmon tossed a perfect pass to Alicia Mardis underneath the basket for a score to tie the game at 68 points with one minute left in regulation.

With 30 seconds left, Angelina hit two free throws to make the score 70-68.

After a KC timeout with 24 seconds left, the Lady Rangers inbounded the ball and missed a three-pointer with less than 10 seconds left.

After a scramble on the ground for the rebound, KC's Patience Idoko somehow got control of the ball and passed it quickly to Velez.

Velez hit the game-winning three-pointer with a fraction of a second left in the game as the crowd erupted and stormed the court.

Thurmon was the game's leading scorer with 31 points.  She added 8 rebounds, 8 assists and three steals.

Velez was also in double figures, nailing 6 three-pointers (6-of-16), for 18 points.

Idoko was in double figures in rebounding with 13 boards.

Natasha Mack led Angelina in scoring with 22 points, earning a double-double with an impressive 17 rebounds.  Priscilla Murray was also in double figures for AC with 16 points.

"As much fun as this was," said head coach Anna Nimz, "We are remembering those who are fighting, and those who have fought Cancer.  It's pretty exciting that we've raised $10,000 for this cause. I couldn't be prouder of Lady Ranger Nation."

KC will end the regular season Saturday, March 3, when they will face Trinity Valley Community College at 2 p.m. in Kilgore.

The Region XIV Women's Basketball Tournament begins March 7 in Jacksonville.