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San Jac women’s basketball headed to first-ever national tournament

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 quarter finals 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 njcaalubbock2017.org.

For more information about the San Jacinto College women’s basketball team visit sanjacsports.com.