NEW YORK, N.Y. (Mar. 1, 2019)
- The Hostos Community College women's basketball team will have the opportunity to defend its national title, following a 79-67 win over Nassau Community College in the 2019 NJCAA Region XV Championship Sunday at BMCC Gymnasium in Manhattan.
With the victory, the Caimans will play at the NJCAA Division III National Championship next week (Mar. 14-16) at the Arthur L. Scott Center at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa.
In 2018, Hostos made the trip to Rockford, Ill., where it knocked off Rock Valley College on its home court for the program's first-ever national championship, 58-52.
Freshman center Apilyn Bonny
was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, after exploding for 30 points on 12-of-17 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds. She averaged 24.0 points per game in the two tournament contests.
"They (Nassau) played a tough game, so we fought hard. I am just here to help when they (my teammates) need it and we got the win, so that's all that matters," Bonny said.
Bonny also added: "It feels great (to be defending our title). We are hoping we can win it again. We are going to play the same way we did at the start of the year and do what we need to do to win a national championship."
Sophomore forward Desiree Tolbert
picked up a double-double (13 points, 13 rebounds) in the effort. Sophomore guard Skydajah Patterson
scored 12 points, while sophomore forward Kayla Wilson
had 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Tied 6-6 more than midway through the opening period, Hostos (26-5) reeled off a 22-8 run that extended into the second quarter to build a commanding 28-14 lead with 7:44 left before the half. Bonny accounted for 17 of the 22 points in the outburst.
Nassau (25-6) hung in though and managed to close the gap to single digits at the break. Hostos led 40-31 after 20 minutes of play.
In the latter half, the Lions pulled within two possessions (55-49) just seconds into the fourth quarter, until a 9-2 response put Hostos back in front by double figures and sealed it for the Caimans.
Hostos now awaits its seeding and first opponent at next week's NJCAA Division III National Championship. The bracket will be announced this week on NJCAA.com