By BOB DeVINNEY
Desiree Francis scored 14 of her team-high 22 points during an emotional 11-minute span in the second half Friday night, rallying Kirkwood (Iowa) to a 79-61 win over Lake Michigan. The Eagles move into tonight's NJCAA Women's Division II championship final against Carl Sandburg College (Ill.) at 8 p.m.
It was a tale of two halves again for Kirkwood, as Lake Michigan hit seven 3-pointers in the first half to take a seemingly comfortable 38-31 lead at the break.
"Our defense hurt us the first half, no doubt about it," said Kirkwood coach Kim Muhl. "I was subbing freely and trying to rest our legs, and (Lake Michigan) spread our press and hit all those treys. At halftime we dwelled on that, and the second half our guards got the ball inside to our big kids, who can all score. That made the difference."