JASON FARMER/NEWS-SUN Alexes Bryant gets drives to the basket for the Lady Thunderbirds Thursday night during a 96-41 win over Phoenix College. Bryant recorded a double-double as she led all scorers with 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
The New Mexico Junior College women's basketball team ran its record to 7-0 Thursday night as the Lady Thunderbirds dominated visiting Phoenix College at Caster Activity Center. The Lady T-Birds never trailed as they beat the Lady Bears 96-41.
"We were very, very proud of the way our kids played defense," NMJC coach Drew Sanders said. "For three quarters, we were really, really good defensively and it led to a bunch of transition baskets where we just beat them down the floor. … This ball club, they beat Midland just about 10 days ago, so I was really proud of the way we came out and the intensity we showed."
The Lady Thunderbirds actually beat Phoenix College by more points
(55) than the Lady Bears scored all game (41).
"They have a good team," Sanders said. "They just weren't ready for our length and our speed." New Mexico Junior College controlled the pace right from the get-go. NMJC opened the game with an 18-0 run and led 23-2 at the end of the first quarter. While Phoenix College got some offense going in the second quarter, it wasn't nearly enough as the Lady T-Birds pushed their lead to 49-14 by the end of the first half.
As well as the Lady T-Birds played in the first half, their offense really exploded in the third quarter. Of the 11 players on NMJC's roster, 10 of them scored in the third quarter. In just a 10-minute span, the Lady T-Birds outscored Phoenix College 34-12, taking an 83-24 lead into the final 10 minutes of the game.
With 8 minutes left in the game, NMJC had built its lead up to its highest point of the game, 62 points. While Phoenix College did outscore NMJC in the fourth quarter, it wasn't by much and it didn't affect the outcome of the game
"I felt like in the fourth quarter we kind of lost our focus and our intensity," Sanders said. "That was the only real negative of the game. We started playing with a lack of discipline. It looked like to me, everyone was trying to get their own shot, rather than sharing the ball like we did for three quarters."
Alexes Bryant finished with a double-double as she led all scorers with 15 points and tied teammate Keonna Watson for the game-high in rebounds with 10. Three other Lady T-Birds finished with double figure scoring. Jurnee President had 13 points while Thamires Andrade and Danielle Craft each had 10 points. Craft scored her points while coming off the bench.
Tatiana Wright finished with a game-high six assists, more than Phoenix College had as a team, and President dished out five more, matching the Lady Bears' team total.
All 11 players scored and had at least one rebound in the win. Ingrid Farina, Ni'Asia McIntosh, and Ashley Reid had nine points while Amanda Maqueia chipped in eight. Wright finished with seven while Watson had four and Lana Skripkina had two.
"That shows you the depth of our team," Sanders said. "But what it really does is helps us come back to practice tomorrow because everybody feels like they had an opportunity to play. All the games won't be like that, but, you need some games like that where all the kids get to play and that makes them what to work hard in practice." With the win, NMJC improves to 7-0 on the season. The Lady T-Birds will be back in action Saturday afternoon when they host Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at Caster Activity Center.