SALINA, Kan. — The Apache Ladies topped off the first day of the NJCAA Women's National Basketball Tournament with an efficient win at the Bicentennial Center.

Tyler Junior College dominated the boards en route to a convincing 97-52 first-round victory over Lawson State (Alabama) Monday.

The Apache Ladies, seeded No. 10 with a 29-4 record, advance to play No. 7 Southern Idaho (21-11) at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The winner of that game moves into the quarterfinals.

Lawson State ends its season at 24-10.

"This was the end of a long day," TJC coach Trenia Tillis-Jones said. "We had the late tipoff. Now, we get a day off and a little practice time and prepare for the next game."

TJC took a 41-26 halftime with a 13-3 beginning and then a late 10-0 run.

In between the Lady Cougars went on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 13-13 with 9:19 to go in the first half.

After the Lady Cougars pulled within 27-22 on a free throw by Ashley McCrear, the Apache Ladies had their own 10-0 run a 3-pointer by Brittny Norris and an old-fashion three-point play by Jasmine Prophet.

TJC had four players in double figures – Prophet (19), Norris (16), Chelsi Watson (14) and Amber Driver (11).

TJC outrebounded the Lady Cougars, 65-36. Every Apache Lady had a rebound, led by Prophet's 10. Sandy Jackson had nine.

"We played much better defense in the second half," Tillis-Jones said.

TJC scored 56 points in the second half, which would have been enough to win against the Lady Cougars' told output.

Princess Cole had eight assists for TJC, while Driver and Jade Jones had three steals each. Prophet had three blocks.

Kara Rawls was the only Lady Cougar in double figures with 13 points. She also had 11 rebounds.

SMOKE SIGNALS: This is the Apache Ladies' 11th trip to nationals, including five under Tillis-Jones. … No. 3 seed Trinity Valley (29-3) is scheduled to play at 5 p.m. Wednesday against either No. 14 Eastern Arizona (27-4) or No. 19 Wallace State (Alabama) (27-5). Those two teams play at 10 a.m. Tuesday. … TVCC is going for its fourth straight title. … Dave and Jan Miller are the team hosts for the Apache Ladies. … After 18 years in Salina, the NJCAA Women's Tournament is moving to Lubbock in 2016.


NJCAA Women's National Basketball Tournament

Bicentennial Center, Salina, Kansas

No. 10 Tyler Junior College 97,

No. 23 Lawson State (Alabama) 52

LAWSON STATE — Kara Rawls, 13; Ashley McCrear, 6; Larian Scott, 9; Kyla Rooks, 4; Toborsha Holley, 4; Tiera Williams, 5; Destini McClary, 5; Aja Cumbie, 4; Latrice Ragland, 2.

TYLER — Jasmine Prophet, 19; Chelsi Watson, 14; Victoria Kemokai, 8; Brittny Norris, 16; Sandy Jackson, 7; Amber Driver, 11; Princess Cole, 8; Jade Jones, 0; Alexundria Sims, 8; Taudenciah Oluoch, 6.

HALFTIME SCORE — Tyler 41-26.

THREE-POINT GOALS — LS (2-of-12) Rawls, McClary. TJC (2-of-5): Norris (2).

RECORDS — Lawson State 24-10, Tyler 29-4.


Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.