SGTC’s Lady Jets end 2017-2018 season with Sweet Sixteen loss to Seward College in NJCAA Division I National Tournament
Lubbock, Texas- The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets overcame a 12-point half-time deficit against the seventh ranked Seward County Community College Lady Saints to pull ahead 81 – 79 with 2:17 seconds remaining in the last game of the Sweet Sixteen round in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Women’s National Basketball Tournament in Lubbock, Texas, Tuesday. But Seward College held the Lady Jets scoreless in the final two minutes and captured the 88 – 81 victory.
“We had the opportunity to pull this out,” said South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey. “I am so proud of these girls for not giving up. They gave 100% effort and showed a lot of people that we were much better than a 23rd seed in this tournament.”
Seward County Community College is the best women’s three point shooting team in the NJCAA across all divisions and they certainly lived up to that billing by hitting 17 of 34 attempts from the three-point line. Twelve of those 17 three-pointers came in the first half. They were successful on 54.5% of their three point attempts in the first half and ended the game shooting 50%.
“Fifty-one of their 88 points came off three point shots,” said Frey. “It is hard to beat a team that hits 50% of their three point shots and attempts 34 shots. We did slow them down in the second half, but 36 of their 52 points at the end of the first half came off of three point shots.”
Despite the lopsided three point shooting in the first half, the Lady Jets were up 20 – 19 at the end of the first quarter. Seward County outshot the Lady Jets 33 – 20 in the second quarter to take a 52 – 40 lead at the half. South Georgia Tech came back in the third period and outscored the Lady Saints 27 – 20 to pull within five points with 10 minutes left in the game.
South Georgia Tech continued to whittle away at Seward’s lead and finally pulled ahead 81- 79 with 2:17 remaining in the contest. Seward County took advantage of fouls and three pointers to take the 88 – 81 victory.
The Lady Jets ended the season with a 29 – 6 overall record and the Seward County Community College Lady Saints advanced to the Elite Eight round with a 31 -3 record. They will play the defending national champion Gulf Coast College Lady Commodores on Thursday.
Sophomore forward Esther Adenike and freshman shooting guard Ricka Jackson were the leading scorers for the Lady Jets with 18 points each. Adenike had a double-double with 13 rebounds. Jackson had three rebounds and two assists.
Four Lady Jets were in double-figures. Sophomore forward Houfat Mahouchize scored 15 points and had four rebounds and sophomore Dakata Toney was next with 14 points. Freshman Alyssa Nieves added nine points, Bigue Sarr tossed in six points and Ce’Deja James closed out the scoring with one point.
“This was a great season,” said Frey. “I think this team played their hearts out here in Lubbock and I am very proud of them on and off the court.”
The Lady Jets captured the 2017-2018 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association regular season title, won the NJCAA Region XVII tournament and then came away with the District J Championship to earn the right to advance to the national tournament for the four time in five years and the sixth in the history of the young program.
Coach Frey has been named the GCAA Coach of the Year four times and was recognized as the NJCAA District J Coach of the Year during the NJCAA Division I National Tournament opening ceremonies.