ALBANY, GA - South Georgia Technical College's TaQuandra Mike, a sophomore shooting guard from Savannah, Georgia, sank eight three-point baskets in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XVII Division I basketball tournament finals at Darton State College in Albany, Saturday to allow the Lady Jets to upset the top-ranked Darton State College Lady Cavaliers, 82 – 66. The win put the Lady Jets at 26 – 7 this season.
The Lady Jets will now host Denmark Tech on Saturday, March 7th at 2 p.m. for the NJCAA District J playoff game to determine who represents District J in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament at the Bicentennial Center in Salina, Kansas, March 16th – 21st.
The Lady Jets finished second in the 2014-2015 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Division I regular season behind Darton College. The Lady Jets defeated Albany Tech 81 – 50 in the first round playoff game on Tuesday then came back and defeated Central Georgia Tech 73 – 68 in the semi-final game on Friday to advance to the finals against the GCAA Champion Darton State College Lady Cavaliers in Albany.
"This was awesome," said South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey. "I am so proud of our young ladies. They played awesome! I just felt like it was going to be very hard for Darton to come out and beat us for the third time this season. I knew we were better than that." This is the Lady Jets third but second consecutive NJCAA Region XVII conference title and their third trip to the NJCAA District J championship game.
This will be the first time that the Lady Jets have been able to host the District J championship. The winner of that game will advance to the NJCAA National Tournament.
SGTC's TaQuandra Mike, who was the leading scorer in the Darton College final game, was the only returning starter for the Lady Jets from the 2013 – 2014 season that saw the Lady Jets post the best single-season winning record in the history of the college with a 30 – 5 overall performance.
Mike also helped lead the Lady Jets to their second NJCAA National Tournament and finish in the top 16 in the nation in 2014. She now has the chance to lead her team to their second consecutive NJCAA national tournament. Mike was on fire in the first half of the Darton contest.
She was eight of 11 from the three point range in the first half and that allowed the Lady Jets to pull ahead 49 – 27 at the end of the first 20 minute period. Those eight three pointers allowed Mike to break the Lady Jets game high three point record of seven which was set in 2013 by Shameekia "Polly" Murray.
Darton shut TaQuandra Mike down in the second half only allowing her to score two more points. That still left her as the leading scorer with 26 points on the night. Freshman Molly Brown from Douglasville, Georgia, stepped up and scored 11 of her 18 points in the second half to be the second leading scorer on the night.
Sophomore Alexis "Bre" Alexander scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half on Saturday against Darton, but her 21 points against Central Georgia Tech on Friday helped the Lady Jets secure a position in the finals Saturday. Ty Henderson, a freshman point guard from Arcadia, LA, was the only other Lady Jet in double-figures with 11 points. Cierra Bond added seven points and then Brittney Delva and Deana Williams closed out the scoring with four points each.
In the Lady Jet's 73-68 win against Central Georgia Tech on Friday in the semi-finals, sophomore Alexis "Bre" Alexander led the charge with 21 points and 13 rebounds. She also had three assists and four steals. TaQuandra Mike added 17 points in that game and freshman Cierra Bond closed out the double-figure scoring with 15 points. Ty Henderson added eight, Asia Smith had six, and Molly Brown, Brittney Delva, and Deana Williams all had two points each.
"I knew this team had the potential to win the NJCAA Region XVII tournament. Now we have got to finish the drill and win on Saturday in the District J championship game to earn the right to go back to the NJCAA National Tournament in Salina, Kansas for the second straight year," said Coach Frey. "We will really need to fill up the stands Saturday when we host Denmark Tech at 2 p.m."