Women's Basketball | 03/18/2022

PREVIEW | Lady Matadors to face Apaches in quarterfinals

Team Score
Tyler Junior College 79
Arizona Western College 67

View Sporting Event Box Score

LUBBOCK, TX- The No. 8 seed Arizona Western Lady Matadors (30-2) will take on the 17-seeded Tyler Junior College Apaches (25-8) in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA DI Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday at 1:00 pm CT at the Rip Griffin Center on the campus on Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock, Texas. 


Arizona Western is coming off a 60-46 win over the No. 9 seed South Georgia Tech on Friday afternoon, winning their first NJCAA DI Women's Basketball Championship game since 2002 and their second ever in program history. The Lady Matadors jumped out to an early 10-0 lead eventually building a 20-point advantage, leading wire-to-wire in the win.

Tyler Junior College has won two games in Lubbock so far, opening tournament play with a first-round win over Chipola, 67-65 in overtime on Wednesday afternoon before upsetting the top-seeded Three Rivers 70-42 on Friday morning. The Apaches opened the game on a 22-0 run and never looked back.


Tyler Junior College enters play 25-8, finishing 13-5 in Region 14 play. The Apaches were upset in the Region 14 tournament, losing to Angelina 63-62 back on March 2nd, finishing the season with two straight losses before winning the first two games in Lubbock this week. The Apaches are led by Nadechka Laccen who is averaging 15.2 points per game and Veonce Powell who is the team's second-leading scorer at just over 14 points per game. Tyler entered the tournament as one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country, shooting 35.2 percent from beyond the arch, the seventh-best percentage in the nation. 


Sophomore guard Teresa Da Silva scored 18 points, finishing as the game's leading scorer in the second-round win over South Georgia Tech on Thursday. Da Silva is averaging 19.3 points per game over the last three games and 18.5 points in two postseason games. 


Arizona Western head coach Patrick Cunningham and Tyler head coach Trenia Tillis Hoard have combined for 43 years as the head coaches of their respective programs. Cunningham is in his 21st season at the helm of the Lady Matadors' women's basketball program and is the only coach the program has known. Tillis Hoard is in her 22nd season at Tyler and recently won her 500th career game. Tillis Hoard came to Tyler in 2000 after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas under legendary hall of fame head coach Gary Blair. Both coaches have combined for just under 1,000 career wins.


Yesterday's win was the second-ever national tournament win in program history and the first since March 19, 2002, when the Lady Matadors beat Ricks College (Idaho) 92-83 in the first round. The 92 points the Lady Matadors scored were the most points scored by a team in the tournament. The Matadors would lose their second-round game 78-73 to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M the next day. 


Fans can watch the game live on the NJCAA Network by purchasing a day pass for $10. Fans can also follow the game via live stats and by following the Arizona Western Matadors on Twitter.

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