Shelton State ends SGTC Lady Jets 14-game winning streak in Lady Jets Holiday Classic
Sophomore guard Niya Goudelock turned 20-years old on New Year’s Eve. Her birthday wish was for the 16th ranked South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets to upset the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) 11th seeded Shelton State Lady Buccaneers in the final game of the South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets Holiday Classic.
Despite trailing Shelton State for the entire game, it looked like the Lady Jets luck might be changing as they pulled ahead 58 – 57 with 2:54 remaining on the clock. The two teams battled back and forth over those last three minutes but Shelton State won out 68 – 63 at the final buzzer. That loss ended a 14-game winning streak for the 16th ranked Lady Jets.
In other action in the tournament on New Year’s Eve, the number one ranked junior college women’s basketball team, Gulf Coast Lady Commodores defeated the 25th ranked Eastern Florida Titans and Cape Fear Lady Sea Devils came away with a win over the Albany Tech Lady Titans. Gulf Coast beat two top 25 teams in the tournament to remain unbeaten and in first place in the country.
“We did not shoot the ball well and we made a lot of mental mistakes, but the bottom line was we were still in the game almost until the final buzzer,” said South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head basketball coach James Frey. “We hit 28% of our shots in the first half and were only shooting 12.5% from the three-point line in the first half. You cannot beat good teams if you can’t score.”
Despite that low point conversion in the first half, the Lady Jets were only down 31 – 24 at half-time. The Lady Jets fell behind as many as 10 points in the first half and never took the lead or tied the game. In the second half, the Lady Jets point production went up significantly. South Georgia Tech hit 46.9 percent of their shots from the field and 27.3 from the three-point line. They were also six of seven from the foul line.
That increased shooting percentage allowed the Lady Jets to outscore Shelton State in the third and fourth quarters but was not enough to give Niya Goudelock and her teammates the win over the higher seeded Shelton State Lady Buccaneers.
“I was proud of the fact that we never gave up,” said Coach Frey. “Shelton State knows that we can play with them and that we could be a force to contend with later in the season. This was good competition for our team and if we reach our goals this season we are going to have to find a way to win these tight games against top-ranked teams.”
Freshman center Femme Sikuzani from the Congo, used her 6’ 5” height to lead the Lady Jets in scoring and rebounding. She ended the night with 19 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Yasriyyah Wazeerud-Din was the second leading scorer with 13 points and then Niya Goudelock came up with 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot on her birthday.
Freshman forward Flora Ngasamputu had a total of eight points and sophomore guard Anna McKendree scored sixth points. Sophomore Shamari Tyson and Moe Shida closed out the scoring with four and two points respectively.
A total of seven women’s basketball teams and six men’s teams traveled to Americus to participate in the five-days of basketball action on the South Georgia Technical College campus during the Jets and the Lady Jets Holiday Classic.
The Lady Jets will have the opportunity to restart their winning streak when they host Central Georgia Tech in a conference double-header with the men on Saturday, January 4th. The women will play at 1 p.m. followed by the men’s teams at 3 p.m. Then they travel to Andrew College on January 8th for a 5:30 p.m. conference match-up. The Jets will follow with a 7:30 game that same night in Cuthbert. Both teams then travel to Rome to face Georgia Highlands on January 11th at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The Lady Jets are still ranked first in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Conference with a 6 – 0 record this season and the Jets will get their first conference game on January 2nd when they travel to Swainsboro for a match-up against East Georgia. East Georgia is 3 – 5 overall and South Georgia Tech is 7 – 7 overall. This will be the first conference game for both teams.