Originally created 07/31/05

Perfect end for Nike Nationals winners



In the championship game of the Women's Nike Nationals on Saturday, a perfect record and title hopes were far from the minds of members of The Family.

The club team from Indianapolis trailed by 10 in the second half and had just lost one of its best players, when Delaquese Jernigan was knocked out of the game.

By the end of the day, though, the perfect record was intact, as the Family rallied for a 67-57 victory over the Spokane Stars.

After Spokane built a 10-point lead early in the second half, the game turned on the injury to Jernigan on a loose ball scramble.

"Before their player got injured, they were about to fold camp," Stars head coach Ron Adams said.

"Then we turned it over a couple times, and they got a couple of three-point plays and they were right back in the game."

The Family's Amber Harris, who was held to only a handful of touches in the first half, took over after the injury, putting up most of her 18 points and three rebounds in the second half.

The Family tied it at 47-47 with nine minutes to go.

The Family's Ashley Barlow, who scored 22 points in the victory, hit a clutch 3-pointer with 2 minutes to go to put the game out of reach.

"(Jernigan) is a key player on our team, so we wanted to pick her up," said Harris, who has verbally committed to Purdue.

The Family won an earlier matchup with the Stars, 83-60, which put them atop the tournament standings before the elimination rounds.

Saturday's game was a different story.

"We had beaten them earlier in the tournament, but they outhustled us early on today," said The Family's coach, Kevin Merriweather.

The Family finished off a flawless run through the tournament, going 8-0 and averaging a double-digit margin of victory.

The Stars were led by Angie Bjorklund, who finished with 27 points and nine rebounds.