WAUWATOSA, WI (March 10, 2018) – In only its second season of existence, the Bryant & Stratton College women's basketball team is advancing to the 16-team NJCAA Division II National Tournament after defeating McHenry County College, 81-70, in overtime Saturday in the Region IV Championship in Sugar Grove, Ill. The national tournament will take place from March 20-24 in Harrison, Arkansas.
This is the first-year Bryant & Stratton College (24-9, 17-0 in Region IV) is eligible to participate in post season play as NJCAA governing bylaws prohibit first-year athletic programs from post-season competition. Bryant & Stratton College launched athletics in 2016-17 with men's and women's basketball and men's golf and since has added baseball, softball, volleyball, and soccer.
Seeding for the NJCAA DII tournament happens Tuesday, March 13.
A back and forth battle all game had both teams on pins and needles. The Bobcats trailed by 10 with three minutes left and it looked like the Scots had the game all wrapped up.
The Bobcats kept fighting and cut the deficit to four with just over a minute remaining in regulation. Putting on a full-court pressure defense, the Bobcats forced a five-second violation on the Scots attempting to inbound the ball. The next possession Gabrielle Norwood drove the lane and brought the Bobcats within two while the clock showed one minute remaining.
Continuing on with their defensive pressure, the Scots were forced into another turnover. The following possession two-time Region IV District L Division II Player of the Year Kiara Donaldson (Milwaukee, Hope Christian) drove the lane and was fouled with seven seconds left and the season on the line. Donaldson sunk both and forced the game into overtime.
Momentum on their side, the Bobcats quickly scored the first five points dominating overtime and on their way to securing the ticket to Arkansas.
Bobcats head coach Jeff Lorenz earned Region IV Coach of the Year. Lorenz posts a 41-19 record in his two seasons at Bryant & Stratton College.
Sophmore guard Jazlyn Drake (Milwaukee, Riverside) led the Bobcats with 23 points and seven rebounds. Donaldson scored 19 points and sophomore Ashley Williams (Aurora, Ill, West Aurora) had 10 points and 12 boards. Sophomore Ashley Quezaire (Milwaukee, Rufus King) had 11 points and Gabrielle Norwood (Milwaukee, Vincent) added nine points off the bench.
This season Donaldson made the All-Region team averaging 17 ppg. In 2016-17, Donaldson earned NJCAA All-American Second Team, Region IV Division II Player of the Year and All-Region First Team.
Williams earned All-Region this season and in the 2016-17 season earned All-Region Second Team. She averages 10 ppg and nine rpg. Williams had 16 points, a career-high 22 rebounds and five assists in the Region IV semifinal win against Moraine Valley, 86-77.
WHO: Bryant & Stratton College Women's Basketball
WHAT: Bobcats Advance to National Tournament
WHEN: Tuesday, March 20-24
WHERE: Northark Pioneer Pavilion in Harrison, Arkansas
1515 Pioneer Drive, Harrison, AR 72601
To view the game please check out the NJCAA official broadcast: www.njcaatv.com