Women’s basketball headed to first-ever national tournament
03.14.2017 | By Amanda Fenwick
HOUSTON — The San Jacinto College women’s basketball team is going dancing for the first time in school history. The team, ranked 20th in the nation, earned an at-large bid to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) DI women’s basketball tournament, the school’s first-ever national tournament berth.
San Jac (24-8) enters the national tournament as the No. 16 seed, and will face No. 17 Harford Community College (28-3) out of Maryland on Monday, March 20 at 10 a.m. (CDT). The winner will move on to face top-seeded Gulf Coast State (Florida) on Tuesday at 2 p.m. (CDT).
“To be the first team in program history to play in the national tournament is special,” said second-year head coach Michael Madrid. “The national exposure these young ladies and program will receive is a credit to their hard work and commitment to each other.”
San Jacinto College is led by a trio of players who are averaging double-digit points. Freshman guard Eryka Sidney (Houston / Wheatley HS) leads the team, averaging 12.2 points per game. She also leads the squad in three-point percentage, shooting nearly 37 percent from long range. Sophomores Ariona Gill (Las Vegas, Nevada / Arbor View HS) and Jasmine James (Innisfil, Ontario (Canada) / Nantyr Shores Secondary School) are second and third, averaging 11.2 and 10.4 points per game, respectively. Gill is also the team’s top rebounder at 9.5 per game.
San Jac advanced to the semifinals of this year’s Region XIV tournament, defeating Jacksonville College in the quarterfinals before falling to Kilgore College in semifinal action.
The NJCAA Division I women’s basketball national tournament takes place Monday, March 20 through Saturday, March 25 at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock, Texas. For more information about the national tournament, including a tournament bracket and link to watch the games live, visit the 2017 NJCAA Division I women's basketball national tournament website.
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, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 finalist and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 30,000 students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers seven areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to a four-year college or university or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.