JAMESTOWN, N.C. — The Guilford Technical Community College women’s basketball team made history on Saturday.
The No. 1 seed GTCC Titans won the NJCAA Division II Region X Tournament, defeating No. 2 seed Cape Fear Community College 82-65 on Saturday (March 7) at Brunswick Community College.
GTCC will advance to the NJCAA Division II National Championship March 17-21 in Overland Park, Kansas, where they will compete against 15 other teams. This is the first time that the GTCC women’s basketball team will play in the national championship. They’re also the first team in the history of GTCC’s athletics to compete in a national championship. This is Head Coach Bobby Allison’s sixth time in his career coaching a team to a national tournament.
“I am happy for this group of kids that they are going to get a chance to play on the national stage,” Allison said. “I have been there previously and it is something that you cannot explain until you are there. We have a great group of kids who work hard and play not for themselves but for each other.”
This has been a strong year for the Titans, finishing the season with an overall record of 27-3 and a Region X record of 17-1.
Last week, the Titans also racked up accolades. Forward Nyla Allen of Greensboro was named NJCAA Region X Player of the Year and Head Coach Allison was named Coach of the Year. In addition, Allen and the Titans’ best low post scorer, Selena Lozada of Greensboro, made the 2015 All-Region X Team. Forward and Team Captain Priscilla Nobles of Jamestown also made the Region X All-Academic Team.
In Saturday’s championship game against Cape Fear, the Titans trailed early as Cape Fear raced out to an early 12-point lead. GTCC fought back to cut the halftime lead to five points (38-33). By the second half, the Titans’ depth and pressure wore down the Sea Devils. The Titans behind clutch free-throw shooting and a great defensive effort outscored Cape Fear 49-27 in the second half to secure the victory.
Several Titans demonstrated key performances in Saturday’s championship game:
• Leading the Titans in scoring was JaLisa Davis with 18 points, including four three-point shots.
• Nyla Allen, the Titans’ leading scorer for the year, scored 10 points but also dominated the glass, collecting 23 rebounds.
• Selena Lozada scored 8 points and 12 rebounds, while holding Cape Fear’s leading scorer to just four points.
• Kiana Davis had a huge performance in the first half, coming off the bench to score 10 points to keep the Titans close when they were struggling.
• Not to be lost was the ball-handling and free-throw shooting of the Titans’ two point guards: Letricia Smith and Anissa Linder. The two combined to play 40 minutes, gained eight assists and four steals. More impressive was the fact that in 40 minutes neither player committed a turnover against the Cape Fear pressure. Down the stretch they sealed the victory combining to shoot 19 for 20 from the free-throw line.
Guilford Technical Community College is the third largest of 58 institutions in the North Carolina Community College System. GTCC serves more than 40,000 students annually from five campuses and a Small Business Center. Learn more at www.gtcc.edu.
— Carla Kucinski/GTCC
Published March 9, 2015