Trinity Valley wins back-to-back national titlesMarch 23, 2013
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SALINA, Kan. – Trinity Valley Community College (Texas) claimed their second consecutive DI women’s basketball national championship Saturday with an 83-71 win over Central Arizona College. The Cardinals lifted the trophy for the seventh time in school history.
Freshman guard Shlonte Allen (right) led the way for Trinity Valley, going 6-for-9 from the field for a team-high 22 points off the bench. Cardinals sophomore guards Krystle Henderson and Shannon Smith each contributed 14 points, while sophomore guard Victoria Wells pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Central Arizona struggled with Trinity Valley’s speed all night. The Cardinals’ full-court pressure forced 18 turnovers which they converted into 15 points. Trinity Valley freshman guard Roddricka Patton recorded a game-high five steals.
Trinity Valley came out of the gates firing, utilizing their intense defense to build a 9-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game. Central Arizona fought back and took a 25-23 lead but quickly fell back behind and played catch-up for the remainder of the game.
Smith hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the first half to send the Cardinals into the break with a 46-33 lead. The Vaqueras slowly inched closer and cut their deficit to 65-61 with just over nine minutes left in the game. Trinity Valley responded by turning up the pressure on defense once again and outscored Central Arizona 18-10 down the stretch.
Tournament MVP honors were awarded to Smith after she led the Cardinals in scoring in three of their four games. Smith shot 52.8 percent from the field and averaged 22 points per game during the tournament.
Trinity Valley head coach Elena Lovato was named coach of the tournament after leading the Cardinals to the national championship in her first season at the helm. Lovato had previously served as an assistant at Trinity Valley in 2009-10 and was the interim head coach for the final 11 games of that season.
The victory in the national championship game improved the Cardinals’ overall record in 2012-13 to 36-1. Central Arizona finished their 2012-13 campaign at 32-2.
Fans can relive the action from all 24 games of the 2013 NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship by watching archived broadcasts through NJCAATV. Visit the NJCAA DI Women’s Basketball Championship Home for tournament scores, stats, photos and other information.
Shannon Smith (G) – Trinity Valley
COACH OF THE TOURNAMENT
Elena Lovato – Trinity Valley
Fatima Adams (F) – Blinn
Shlonte Allen (G) – Trinity Valley
Rayven Brooks (G) – Chipola
Brea Edwards (G) – Central Arizona
Krystle Henderson (G) – Trinity Valley
Joymesia Howard (F) – Central Arizona
Jamie Patrick (G) – Hutchinson
Tarvarsha Scott (F) – Northwest Florida State
Necole Sterling (F) – Gulf Coast State
Tamara Taylor (G) – Gulf Coast State
Chrisstasia Walter (G) – Hutchinson
Shelton State Community College