By John M. Sherrard
(Fullerton, CA) The Mt. SAC Women's Basketball Team, behind 26 points from forward Jonnae Vermillion, advanced to its fifth consecutive tournament championship game this season with a 75-72 semifinal win over Long Beach City College in the 39th Annual Colleen Riley Holiday Invitational at Fullerton College.
Coming off a tournament title at Antelope Valley College last week, the Mounties (13-3) are looking for their fourth straight Colleen Riley championship.
Mt. SAC will face South Coast Conference rival Cerritos College (12-6), an 80-63 semifinal winner over host Fullerton, today to advance to the title game.
Vermillion, who was 16 of 19 from the free throw line, sank four in the last 13 seconds to secure the win. Vermillion is 79 for 110 from the free throw line this season, most attempts by a Mountie so far this season.
The Mounties led 20-12 after the first quarter and extended the lead to 13 points, 41-28 at the intermission.
Mt. SAC, who remained at No.5 in the state as of the latest poll (Dec. 25), built up an 11-point lead, 64-53, midway through the fourth quarter on a jump shot by Vermillion.
Two minutes later, Burrell (3 of 7 3pt., 13 points) hit a 3-pointer for the 71-63 lead. It was her third long-range score of the game.
Meanwhile, the Vikings were in the midst of a 17-7 run and crawled back into the game and trailed by one point 71-70 with 13 seconds left in the game.
Vermillion was fouled and sank a pair of free throws for the 73-70 lead. After a layup by Long Beach guard Esther Franks (28 points) to close to 73-72 with :05 left, Vermillion was fouled with :03 left and sank both free throws to ice the game 75-72.
The Mounties will begin 2018 with a nonconference game against Long Beach CC for the third time this season on Friday January 5 at 6:00 pm.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.