Men’s basketball advances at regional tournament
03.06.2015 | By Rob Vanya
JACKSONVILLE, Texas – With solid team defense, the No. 1 seed San Jacinto College men’s basketball team defeated ninth seed Jacksonville College, 80-72, in quarterfinal action of the Region XIV tournament, played Thursday, March 5 at the Jacksonville ISD gym in Jacksonville.
With the win, San Jac (27-4) will play today at 6 p.m. against Angelina College.
San Jac led much of the game by double digits, but Jacksonville cut the lead to 8 points at the 2-minute mark, thanks to a run of 3-point shots. Third-year Head Coach Scott R. Gernander was not surprised that Jacksonville made a run and made the game close near the end.
“Jacksonville is a dangerous team and you can never really feel too secure no matter how much of a lead you get because their guys can nail the 3-pointers,” Gernander commented. “We beat them both times we faced them in the regular season, but they were not easy wins.”
Gernander attributes the win mostly to solid defense from every player. “I was especially proud of the way our guys held a very good offensive team to just 23 points in the first half,” he said. “If we can continue play that kind of defense, then I look for good things to happen.”
Sophomore guard Willie Mangum (Richmond, Virginia / Marshall High School / Western Nebraska Community College) led San Jac in scoring with 24 points, firing 7 from 23 from the field, and hitting two 3-point shots. Other key offensive contributors were sophomore forward Jevonlean Hedgeman (Pearland / Pearland High School) and sophomore guard Donte Thomas (Washington D.C. / Ballou High School / Hagerstown Community College), who each scored 15 points. Sophomore guard Naiel Smith (Brooklyn, New York / West Oaks Academy / Texas State University) led in rebounds and assists (12 and 4 respectively).
The 2015 Region XIV tournament runs through Saturday, March 7. The tournament winner advances to the NJCAA national championship March 16-21 in Hutchinson, Kansas. San Jacinto College has made 19 national tournament appearances, the last in 2006. For more information, including a complete schedule of Region XIV tournament games, visit the Jacksonville College website. For information about the San Jacinto College men’s basketball program, visit sanjacsports.com.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.