TBirds Win Regional Championships
3/9/2015 2:35:29 p.m. - Hobbs, NM.
BROWNWOOD, Texas — The New Mexico Junior College women's basketball program has done it again.
For the third time in four years, the fifth-ranked Lady Thunderbirds have taken home the Region V Tournament championship and earned a spot in the NJCAA National Tournament – this time beating Western Texas College 65-52 Saturday at Brownwood Coliseum.
NMJC now owns regional titles in 2012, 2014 and 2015, has won four straight Western Junior College Athletic Conference titles and is 105-19 over that four-year span.
But NMJC coach Drew Sanders isn't ready to call it a dynasty.
"I don't really like the word dynasty more than we've just become a good program," Sanders said. "That is a tribute to our players, to the administration and the people in the community that allow us to do this."
The Lady T-Birds (28-3) begin the NJCAA National Tournament on March 16 in Salina, Kan.
In Saturday's contest it was the post combo of 6-foot-1 Angelica de Paulo and 6-foot-2 Antoina Robinson that paced NMJC in the second half to victory as the duo scored 23 of the Lady T-Birds' 30 second-half points – helping NMJC outscore Western Texas (17-14) by 10 in the half.
de Paulo, the WJCAC MVP, finished with 26 points, four rebounds and four assists while Robinson had 12 points and four blocks.
NMJC held a 35-32 lead at the half before Western Texas freshman and Lovington graduate Jocelyn Jeffrey scored to open the second half to cut the Lady T-Bird lead to one.
That's when a de Paulo bucket ignited an 11-0 run for NMJC capped by a Robinson jumper with 13:58 left to make it 46-34 Lady T-Birds.
Western Texas cut the lead twice to six points – the last time with 5:45 left in the game.
However, de Paulo from the elbow hit a cutting Robinson for a bucket to build the lead back to eight and the Lady T-Birds cruised from there.
See the story from the Hobbs News Sun here.
[Story from www.nmjcthunderbirds.com]
[Photo courtesy of Clayton Jones/Hobbs News Sun]