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Lady Jets drop to 14th in the NJCAA Division I rankings

By Staff Reports

AMERICUS – The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets fell seven spots into 14th place in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I women’s basketball rankings this week. This was the result after dropping decisions to the defending national champion Gulf Coast Lady Commodores and Eastern Florida College in the Lady Jets Holiday Classic tournament on the Americus campus in late December.

Those two losses to nationally ranked teams put the Lady Jets at 16 – 3 overall.  They are still 8 – 0 and seeded first in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) Conference standings.  Gulf Coast, who was ranked as the top women’s team in the nation, also fell in the NJCAA standings after losing to Shelton State in that same Holiday Classic.  Shelton State claimed the number one spot in the nation with a 19 – 0 record and Gulf Coast slipped to third place after that loss with a 13 – 1 record.

“We lost to two very good nationally ranked women’s basketball teams, but we did not play well either,” said South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head basketball coach James Frey.  “We just have to dig ourselves out of the hole that we put ourselves in.  The only way to do that is to continue to get better and learn from our mistakes.”

Shelton State earned the top spot in the NJCAA January 9th, 2018 poll and New Mexico moved up from third place into second place with a 17 – 0 record.  Gulf Coast dropped to 3rd place but is still ahead of Northwest Florida State with a 16 – 0 record and Trinity Valley who is ranked fifth with a 14 – 1 record.

Tallahassee Community College is sixth with a 15 – 1 record, Salt Lake, 15 – 3 is seventh, Jones County, MS is eighth at 8 – 2, Moberly Area, MO, is seeded ninth at 16 – 0 and Pensacola State closed out the top 10 with a 16 – 1 record.  Wabash Valley, IL; Frank Phillips, TX; Seward County, KS; South Georgia Tech and Collin County, TX closed out the top 15 spots. South Georgia Technical College is still the only Georgia squad in the NJCAA Top 25 national rankings.

In addition to the national team ranking, two of the Lady Jets are included in the individual rankings nationally.  Sophomore Esther Adenike, a 6’ 2” forward from Nigeria, and Houlfat Mahouchiza, a 6’ 1” forward from France, were both included in the individual rankings nationally.

Adenike is currently the third best rebounder in the nation with a total of 205 this season.  The top rebounder in the nation has 233.  She is also listed as 13th in rebounds per game with an average of 10.8 per game. The leader averages 15 per game.  Adenike is 24th in defensive rebounds with an average of 6.4 and 16th in offensive rebounds per game with an average of 4.4.

Her teammate, Houlfat Mahouchiza, is currently ranked 18th in total rebounds this season with 158, and 22nd in the nation in blocked shots per game.  She is averaging two blocked shots per outing.  Mahouchiza is also shooting 81.8% from foul line, ranking her at 40th in the nation in free throw shooting.

The SGTC Jets had two players included in the NJCAA individual rankings.  Sophomore Marquel Wiggins of Oglethorpe, GA, returned for the third consecutive week and Rico Simmons broke in this week for the first time.

Wiggins is currently ranked 6th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game.  The 6’ 6” forward is averaging 4.6 offensive rebounds per game.  He has a total of 161 rebounds this season. That puts him at 11th in the nation in total number of rebounds.  He is ranked 21st in total rebounds per game with an average of 10.1.  He is also listed as 26th in the national in total points scored this season with 307 and 46th in the nation in points per game with an average of 19.2 per outing.  He has played and started in all 16 games for the Jets this season.

Rico Simmons, a sophomore point guard from Wilkinson County, moved into the 41st spot in total points scored in the nation.  He has scored 277 points this season.  He has started and played in all 16 of the Jets game.  The top scorer in the nation has 421 points in 18 games.