Sophomore Matrice Sweezy. Copyright SportsFotos

The Buccaneers Women’s Basketball team finished the season with their highest ranking yet in the National Polls. The Lady Bucs finished the regular season as the #3 ranked team in the nation. The Bucs locked up the regular season with their first Virginia-Carolinas Conference title and an undefeated regular season. The Bucs will head next to the Region X/District J Tournament at Patrick Henry CC in Martinsville, VA. The winner of this tournament will receive 1 of the 16 berths in the NJCAA National Tournament hosted by Illinois Central College in East Peoria, Ill.

The conference title is the first in the short history of the women’s basketball program which is only in its fourth year of existence. Head Coach Tommy Edwards, the programs only coach, currently sits with 80 wins and only 29 losses for a 73% winning rate. This season saw the Bucs defeat 3 ranked teams with their first win over #11 ranked Patrick Henry CC on January 15. On February 16 the Bucs took down the #1 ranked team Louisburg College with a 75-70 win in overtime, and then on the last game of the season the Bucs defeated #8 Louisburg College at Louisburg 78-75 to clinch the outright Carolinas-Virginia Conference Title and the #1 seed in the Region X/District J tournament.

The Bucs saw their three sophomores take the leadership role of this young team and help spark the talented incoming freshman class to create a magical season. Sophomore Matrice Sweezy has been an offensive catalyst by scoring 11.0 points per game, but more importantly her court vision and awareness has given her 168 assists on the season (ranks 5th in the nation). Sweezy has also pressed on the defensive side of the ball giving her 97 steals which ranks 9th in the nation. Freshman Anika Jones has been the key for the Bucs scoring by dropping 551 points this season (9th in the nation) while averaging 19.7 per game (10th in the nation). This is all while Jones is shooting 59.1% from the field which is the 5th best in the nation for shooting percentage. Jones has also been able to log 82 steals on the season (30th in the nation). Freshman Kadesha Gibbs has led the Bucs in on the boards by rebounding 9.1 rebounds per game and has logged 256 total rebounds, including 179 defensive rebounds which ranks her 24th in the nation.

Freshman Anika Jones. Copyright SportsFotos

While there have been outstanding performances by these young women, if you ask what has led to their success they will point to the team. As a team the Bucs have seen some of the best stats yet. Their offence is ranked 20th or better 8 of the 12 offensive categories including being ranked in the top 10 of 5 categories. They are ranked 2nd in the nation with a 46.8 field goal percentage and are 9th in the nation with 76.5 points per game. On the defensive side of the ball the Bucs are ranked 11th by holding opponents to a 32.1 field goal percentage, 17th by allowing only 42.2 points per game and 15th in logging 14.2 steals per game.

The Bucs will hit the road to travel to Patrick Henry CC in Martinsville, VA for the NJCAA DII Region X/District J tournament. Their first game will be at 3:00pm on Friday, March 8th against the #8 seeded Guilford Tech. If they win they would face the winner of the #4 Brunswick CC vs. #5 Cape Fear CC game, on Saturday, March 9th at 1:00pm.