The #13 seed Lady Chargers overcame shooting just 29% from the field for the game and a 7-point deficit in the last couple minutes of the game to defeat the College of Southern Idaho 65-62 in the first round of the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, TX on Monday night. The stat sheet wasn’t pretty but a win is a win and the Lady Chargers now advance to the second round of the NJCAA National Tournament.
The Ladies came out firing, hitting three early from long-range to take a 9-2 lead but after that they went cold from the field, allowing Southern Idaho to outscore them 14-4 the remainder of the quarter and take a 16-13 lead at the end of the 1st. GHC regrouped to outscore the Golden Eagles 21-16 in the 2nd quarter to take a 34-32 lead into the half.
The third quarter mirrored the first, with GHC taking an early lead before Southern Idaho eventually overtook them to hold a 39-36 lead going into the 4th. As the 4th quarter progressed, things were not looking good for the Lady Chargers. The Golden Eagles had outscored them 13-9 to build a 62-55 lead with 2:36 remaining in the game. However, Rasheka Simmons, who had been in foul trouble most of the game, sparked a stretch run by scoring 7 points as part of a 10-0 run to close out the game for a 65-62 GHC victory. The winning stretch saw multiple steals and some clutch free-throw shooting by the Ladies to seal the win.
Jashanti Simmons fought through a cold shooting night to lead GHC with 16 points. Rasheka Simmons, Sasha Shishkina, and Crystal Corely all added 11 points. The team made up for their poor shooting and being outrebounded 48-38 by forcing 24 turnovers while only committing 13 themselves. This gave the team the slight edge they needed to get the victory. GHC now advances to take on #4 seed South Plains on Wednesday, April 21 at 2:00PM EST in the second round.