NEWS-SUN PHOTO Danielle Craft looks for an open teammate during a home game earlier this year. Craft, while playing off the bench, led NMJC with 20 points in a win over No. 15 Southern Idaho Saturday afternoon.
The New Mexico Junior College women's basketball team won again Saturday, knocking off No. 15 Southern Utah, 78-44, to stay undefeated this season.
"The girls played really, really well today," NMJC coach Drew Sanders said. "I am really, really proud with how they responded with the travel and the hard game (Friday). I was unsure how they would respond, but they responded like champions."
Coming into the game, the Lady Golden Eagles were averaging 93.2 points a game. Then NMJC held Southern Idaho to 44 points, the lowest point total for the Lady Golden Eagles all season.
Despite a slow start, New Mexico Junior College jumped out to a 21-12 first quarter lead and dominated the game from there. While scoring was closer in the second quarter – NMJC had 15 points and Southern Idaho scored 10 – the Lady Thunderbirds still managed to extend their lead. The teams went into the break with NMJC leading 36-22.
"We actually trailed for about the first four minutes," Sanders said. "We called a timeout and then went on about a 10-2 run and ended up winning the quarter."
The Lady T-Birds nearly doubled their scoring total in the third quarter as NMJC dropped in 30 points. While the Lady T-Birds didn't match their first half scoring, they did double up Southern Idaho as the Lady Golden Eagles finished with 14 points in the third.
"In the third quarter, we exploded for 30 points," Sanders said. "That created the separation for us to win the game."
The fourth quarter was low-scoring for both teams. NMJC scored just 12 points, but also limited Southern Idaho to eight.
Danielle Craft led the Lady T-Birds in scoring, finishing with 20 points while coming in off the bench. Alexes Bryant and Jurnee President each had 14 points while Amanda Maqueia chipped in 12. Ni'Asia McIntosh contributed 10 points for the Lady T-Birds.
With the win, NMJC is now 15-0 on the season. The Lady T-Birds have beaten two ranked teams in their last two games. Southern Idaho falls to 11-2. Next up for NMJC is the final two road games of its nine-game, four-state trip. The Lady T-Bird will play at Bossier Parish College in Bossier City, Louisiana on Tuesday, January 2nd. The game is set to tip off at 3 p.m. (CST).