The New Mexico Junior College women's basketball team completed the season sweep of Clarendon College Monday night when the Lady Thunderbirds won 74-54 at Caster Activity Center.
"I was very, very pleased with our play tonight," NMJC coach Drew Sanders said. "We had a tremendous crowd and I hope the crowd will return."
Both teams poured in a lot of points during the first 10 minutes, but it was NMJC with the 23-19 lead. NMJC started the game with a 5-0 run and led 13-3 near the midway point of the opening quarter. Clarendon battled back, getting within one point, 20-19, with 34 seconds left in the first, but never any closer.
Scoring slowed up a bit in the second quarter, but the Lady T-Birds still managed to extend their lead, outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 16-12. NMJC went into halftime leading 39-31.
"We had a lead of around eight to 10 points most of the game," Sanders said. "But we could just never really separate ourselves until the fourth quarter."
The Lady T-Birds' offensive came out shooting in the second half as they dropped in 22 points. Defensively, NMJC held Clarendon to just 16 points, extending the lead to Lady T-Birds lead to 61-47. During the final 10 minutes of play, the Lady T-Birds nearly doubled up Clarendon in scoring as NMJC scored 13 points to the Lady Bulldogs seven. NMJC ended the game on a 9-0 run while Clarendon did not score during the final five-plus minutes of the game.
"In the fourth quarter, we made a really, really strong run down the stretch and opened the game up," Sanders said. "It was a really, really, good win. Clarendon had a really good, solid team."
Two Lady T-Birds finished with double figure scoring, Alexes Bryant and Ni'Asia McIntosh. Bryant led all scorers with 27 while McIntosh chipped in 20 points off the bench. Though Tatiana Wright finished with only four points, she was one rebound shy of turning in a double-double as she finished with nine rebounds and 12 assists. Thamires Andrade also had nine rebounds for NMJC.
Clarendon College had three players in double figures. Mia Castaneda finished with 18 points while Ja'Vonda Daniels had 16 and Baily Shelor chipped in 10.
With the win, NMJC improves to 26-1 on the season and 10-1 in Western Junior College Athletic Conference action. Clarendon, which is 20-7 for the season, is just 4-7 in WJCAC play. The Lady T-Birds will now prepare for a road trip to Borger, Texas on Thursday where they will go up against No. 20 Frank Phillips College.
"(The win) opens up a showdown with second place Frank Phillips on Thursday in Borger, Texas," Sander said. "That is going to be big for us."