Top-ranked SGTC Lady Jets looking forward to NJCAA National Tournament play
Published 12:54 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2023
From Staff Reports
LUBBOCK, TX – The #1-seeded South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets arrived safely in Lubbock, Texas for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division 1 Women’s Basketball Tournament. They are already anticipating their first match-up against the winner of the 16th ranked Barton College of Great Bend, KS, and the 17th seeded Moberly Area Community College of Moberly, MO, on Thursday, March 23 at 3 p.m. That game is played on Wednesday, March 22.
All of the NJCAA Division 1 women’s basketball national tournament games beginning March 22 – March 27 will be broadcast live on the NJCAA network. Individuals can access the games on the computer at: njcaa.org/network. The cost is $10 per day or $30 for the entire tournament.
The games are being played in the Rip Griffin Center on the campus of Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock, Texas. The final game of the 2023 NJCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball championship will be nationally televised on ESPU. The final game will not be streamed on the NJCAA Network.
“We arrived safely,” said South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head basketball coach James Frey. “Now we just have to remember why we are here and concentrate on doing the things that got us to this point.”
The Lady Jets have the opportunity to practice in the Rip Griffin Center prior to the start of the tournament and then will have practice sessions scheduled in different parts of Lubbock, Texas for the remainder of the tournament.
“It is very humbling to be ranked number one entering the NJCAA National Tournament,” said South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach. “However, for the past two years, the number one seed has been knocked out in the first round of the national tournament. So, with that in mind, I have tried to help our players understand that every team in the national tournament has the ability to beat any other team. And everyone always wants to be the team that upsets the number one seed,” added Frey.
The Lady Jets enter the national tournament with a 32-game winning streak and a 32 – 1 overall record. They finished the year at 15 – 0 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) and as the GCAA regular season champions, the NJCAA Region XVII champions and the winner of the Southeast District Conference. Head coach James Frey also secured his 300th career victory as a head coach in 11 seasons. All 300 were earned at South Georgia Tech.
In the seeding process, the Lady Jets maintained the number one seed followed by Eastern Florida State (31 – 1), Trinity Valley (31 – 2), Southern Idaho (29 – 2), Blinn (30 – 3), Jones (25 – 3), Wabash Valley (30 – 1) and Northwest Florida State (25 – 4) in the top eight spots. Each of those teams received a first-round bye.
The 9th – 24th place teams that qualified in order are: Shelton State (30 – 3), Collin (29 – 2), Gulf Coast State (24 – 4), Eastern Arizona (29 – 1), Dodge City (29 – 3), McLennan (27 – 4), Casper (30 – 3) Barton (28 – 5) Moberly Area (28 – 3), Walters State (25 – 4), Murray State (26 – 6), New Mexico (25 – 5), North Dakota (29 – 4), Three Rivers (22 – 5), Cochise (27 – 5) and Monroe College (16 – 14).
Last season at the national tournament, the Lady Jets defeated Monroe College in the first round 77 – 26 and set a new national tournament record for allowing the least points. The Lady Jets then lost to Arizona Western 60 – 46 in the next round and finished the season 27 – 7 and in the sweet sixteen in the nation.
This is the South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets seventh consecutive trip to the NJCAA National Tournament and the ninth under head coach James Frey. This will be the 10th time in 19 years that the Lady Jets have qualified for the tournament. The SGTC sophomore Lady Jets finished in the Sweet Sixteen last season and the sophomores have amassed a 59 – 8 record over their two seasons at South Georgia Tech.
South Georgia Tech’s only loss this season was to Gulf Coast in the opening game of the season (76 – 61). Gulf Coast is currently ranked 11th in the tournament. They are on the opposite side of the bracket than the Lady Jets.
The Barton Community College Cougars (28 – 5) qualified for the national tournament after coming up short for the past three seasons. They have been the Region VI runners-up for the past three years. They have not played any of the top 24 teams seeded in the NJCAA National Tournament this season. They are averaging 70.4 points per game.
Moberly Area Community College (28 – 3) finished the seeding in the 17th position. They are from Region XVI and this is their 17th tournament appearance. They have faced two opponents among the top 24 teams. They lost to the 7th seeded Wabash Valley team 91 – 74, and split with the 22nd seeded Three Rivers Community College. They lost 91 – 74 in the first meeting but came back and won 72 – 56 in a February contest.
The winner of the South Georgia Tech – Barton/Moberly game will advance to the Elite Eight round on March 25th at 2 p.m. eastern time. The winner will face the winner of the eighth ranked Northwest Florida State (25 – 4) vs. the winner of the 9th seeded Shelton State (30 – 3) and 24th Monroe College (16 – 14) team. The Shelton State and Monroe College game is set for Thursday, March 23rd at 5 p.m. eastern time.