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 February 22, 2013

Celebrating a championship never gets old.

For the third consecutive season, the Prairie State College women’s basketball team guaranteed itself a championship campaign, following a 63-36 triumph over Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference foe Morton Thursday night in Chicago Heights.

The victory ensured the Pioneers of no worse than a tie for the Skyway Conference crown with co-champion Elgin. The title is PSC’s second league championship in three seasons. Prairie State finished in second place in the conference standings in 2011-12 before claiming its first-ever NJCAA Region IV title later that season.

The Skyway championship is PSC’s third in any sport. In addition to head coach Jeff Boyd’s team’s 2010-2011 title, the Pioneers also claimed a league volleyball title in 2011.

Leading the charge for PSC (20-8, 13-1) was sophomore center Amanda Pierce (Simeon H.S.) who dropped in a season-high 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field.

Thursday’s efforts were Pierce’s 15th straight in double-digit scoring on the campaign. It was also the 32nd game of her career in which she has reached the double-digit plateau in the scoring column.

She also hauled down 11 rebounds to lock up her third double-double of the slate.

The 6-foot-1 Pierce also blocked a trio of shots and came away with a steal.

Freshman guard Nijea Dixon (Joliet Central H.S.) and freshman forward Mandie Green (Homewood-Flossmoor H.S.) each recorded 10-point outings. Dixon added five assists.

Freshman forward Shantera Jones (East Chicago Central H.S., Ind.) and sophomore center Danielle Zandstra (Heritage Christian H.S, Ind.) each dropped in six points.

After a somewhat sluggish start, PSC took a 33-22 advantage into the intermission.

A three-pointer out of the hand of sophomore point guard Latoi Merriweather (Merrillville H.S., Ind.), lifted PSC to a 42-25 edge.

A Jones field goal at 7:18 gave the Pioneers a 56-31 edge.

PSC will now move onto postseason play as it will take part in the NJCAA Region IV Tournament, beginning February 28 against yet to be determined opponent.

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