LUBBOCK – The Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals will play in their 15th NJCAA championship game after a 77-66 semifinal win Friday night against the Chipola College Indians at Rip Griffin Center on the campus of Lubbock Christian University.
The No. 2 Lady Cardinals (22-2) will face No. 5 Northwest Florida State (23-2) in the title game Saturday at 3 p.m.
Northwest Florida State was a 71-63 winner against No. 9 Three Rivers in the other semifinal.
The Lady Cardinals used a dominant second quarter to earn the right to play for a ninth national championship. Behind Mahoganie Williams, the Lady Cardinals outscored Chipola 21-7 to go into halftime with a comfortable 40-22 cushion.
Williams was simply too much for the Indians to handle. She finished with 21 points, six rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot in proving to be the difference-maker.
The Lady Cardinals hit 18-of-35 shots in the opening half. Chipola, on the other hand, against the Lady Cardinals’ length and defense, was just 8-of-36.
A 6-2 spurt to start the second half gave the Lady Cardinals what would prove to be their biggest lead, 46-24 at the 8:33 mark of the third quarter.
But Chipola refused to go away, largely behind the shooting of De’Myla Brown and Jordan McLaughlin. The Lady Cardinals also did a sloppy job of protecting the ball on their way to 23 turnovers.
Chipola hit four three-pointers in the quarter to get within 13, 57-44, going into the final 10 minutes.
The Lady Cardinals did just enough in the fourth quarter to hold Chipola at bay.
Along with Williams, Taiyanna Jackson was also a 6-5 thorn in Chipola’s side. She had a double-double with 15 points and 21 rebounds. Jackson also blocked five shots.
Kaye Clark had 12 points for the Lady Cardinals and Kiana Anderson 10.
McLaughlin led Chipola with 21. Brown had 16.
The Lady Cardinals outrebounded Chipola 51-34.