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Lady Jets win hard-fought battle over Southern Crescent

AMERICUS – The 11th-ranked South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets basketball team (9-1, 4-0) ran their winning streak to nine games by beating Southern Crescent Community College 72-51 at the Hanger on Saturday, December 1.

Though he was happy with the win, SGTC Head Coach James Frey was not pleased with his team’s performance. “It just wasn’t a very good job by us today,” Frey said. “We were lethargic and a little lackadaisical.” Frey went on to say that his team was playing without their starting center, Bigue Sarr. Sarr suffered a knee injury last weekend. “Hats off to Southern Crescent. They played really hard. They played with a lot of energy,” Frey said. “I thought we just went through the motions for the most part. It was a physical game. We fought through it and got a win. I’ll take the win, but we’ve got to get better. That’s for sure.”

SGTC guard Rio Yamazaki with the ball. Yamazaki scored 10 points in the win over Southern Crescent.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Alyssa Nieves led the Lady Jets in scoring with 15 points. Two other SGTC players were in double-figures. Ricka Jackson scored 14 points and Rio Yamazaki had 10. For the game, SGTC shot 35.1 percent from the field, making 26-74 shots. They shot 12-33 from beyond the arc (36.4 percent) and made 8-10 free throws for the game (80 percent).

As for SCCC, they were led in scoring by Jaydn Rice with 12 points. The Lady Tigers shot 17-66 from the field (25.8 percent), 3-16 from beyond the arc (18.8 percent) and made 14-25 free throws (56 percent). For the game, the Lady Jets outrebounded the Lady Tigers 52-44.

SGTC forward Fatou Pouye (12) going up for a defensive rebound.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Both teams struggled to score early in the first quarter, but SGTC jumped out to an early 5-0 lead when Nieves hit a three-pointer. In the first quarter, the Lady Jets struggled to get offensive rebounds against the Lady Tigers. However, SCCC struggled to capitalize. They weren’t able to score easy baskets in spite of getting several second-chance opportunities.

Midway through the first quarter, the Lady Jets had an 8-4 lead. At that point, they scored five unanswered points to increase their lead to 13-4. However, the Lady Tigers responded by going on a 9-6 run to cut SGTC’s lead to 19-13 by the end of the first quarter.

SGTC guard Mari Hill with the ball. Hill scored four points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists in the Lady Jets’ win over Southern Crescent.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The second quarter belonged to the Lady Jets. They outscored SCCC 15-4 to jump out to a 34-23 lead. They went into halftime with a 37-26 lead.

Ricka Jackson led the way for the Lady Jets in the first half with nine points, including one three-pointer. Nieves had six first-half points, both coming on three-pointers. For the Lady Tigers, I’Uanna Slaughter, Kver Shannon, Jaydn Rice and Sage Kelley each scored five first-half points.

The Lady Jets were outrebounded 14-10 on the offensive end in the first half, but they outrebounded the Lady Tigers 16-13 on the defensive end. In total rebounds, the Lady Tigers outrebounded SGTC 27-26 in the first half.

In the beginning of the second half, SCCC came out strong, scoring six unanswered points. However, the Lady Jets responded with five points, three of them coming on a three-pointer by Nieves to make the score 42-32 SGTC with just under six minutes to play in the third quarter. Nieves hit another three-pointer to put the Lady Jets up 45-34 with under three minutes to play in the quarter.

SGTC guard Alyssa Nieves about to shoot. Nieves led the Lady Jets with 15 points against Southern Crescent.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

With 2:13 to go in the third quarter, and SGTC up 45-36, Frey was whistled for a technical foul. Chyna Eagle hit the two technical free throws for the Lady Tigers. However, this seemed to ignite the Lady Jets. With a little over a minute left in the third quarter, Nieves hit another three-pointer to give the Lady Jets a 48-39 lead. Then with under a minute left, SGTC guard Rio Yamazaki drove straight to the basket and scored, electrifying the Lady Jets’ fans. Yamazaki was fouled on the play, but couldn’t complete the three-point play. The third quarter ended with SGTC owning a 50-39 lead.

The final quarter began with the Lady Jets going on a 7-0 run, which included a three-pointer by Jackson. With 7:37 to play in the game, the Lady Tigers called a timeout, trailing 57-39.

SGTC forward Laky Samo rebounding and trying to score. Samo scored six points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the win over Southern Crescent.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Lady Tigers struggled to score and SGTC stepped it up on the defensive end. With around 5:30 to go in the game, Yamazaki created a steal, drove to the basket and scored. She then hit a three-pointer to put the Lady Jets up by 20 at 64-44. At this point, the Lady Jets had taken total control of the game.

With under three minutes left in the game, the Lady Jets put the icing on the cake when Yasriyyah Wazeerud-Din hit a three-pointer to put SGTC up by 23 points. Kamya Hollingshed hit a jumper to score the last basket for SGTC, and the Lady Jets went on to win 72-51.

SGT’C’s Yasriyyah Wazeerud-Din driving to the basket against an SCCC defender.
Wazeerud-Din scored nine points for the Lady Jets.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Lady Jets, ranked 11th in the nation in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division 1 Top 25 standings, are now 9-1 overall and 4-0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA). They will continue conference play when they travel to Cuthbert, GA to take on Andrew College on Saturday, December 8. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.