No. 2 Seed Eastern Florida State Women’s Basketball Prepares for National Tournament in Texas March 23
By Michael Parsons, Eastern Florida State College // March 18, 2023
titans enter tournament 31-1, 15-game win streak
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Eastern Florida State College women’s basketball team heads back to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament as one of the best teams in the country.
The Titans head into the national tournament as the No. 2 seed and are a program-best 31-1 with a 15-game win streak.
“It is such an honor to be back in the national tournament, last year we were rookies, we were so green when it came to the national tournament and this year I think we have some experience and understand what it takes to win a national championship,” Eastern Florida State College women’s basketball coach MJ Baker said.
The Titans are coming off a big week of basketball, winning the Region VIII Tournament for the first time in program history. And they did it with a defense that held opponents to 44 points per game in the tournament, including holding Northwest Florida State College, who came into the tournament averaging 73 points per game to 43 points in the championship game.
The Titans defeated Santa Fe, then Indian River State College in the semifinals before beating Northwest Florida for the title.
Eastern Florida State College comes into the national tournament as one of the best defensive teams in the country, holding opponents to 48.8 points per game which is fifth in the nation.
“The defense is the reason why we won the Region 8 title and the reason we pulled out a win at St. Petersburg in overtime,” Baker said. “Offensively you are never quite sure about, sometimes you can’t really control how things fall, but defensively you can and we have really focused on the defensive rebounding, it is something we have bought in on and been high level on.”
The team is third in the nation in blocks per game, averaging 6.9 and seventh in rebounding with 47.6 rebounds per game.
But it is not just the defense that has led the Titans back to the national tournament for the second straight season, the offense can put up some numbers as well averaging 78.5 points per game.
Region VIII Tournament Most Outstanding Player Leilani Guion is one of four players who average double figures in scoring this season. The sophomore from Orlando was also named to the Region 8 All-State team, averaging 10.9 points this season. In the tournament, Guion averaged 12 points.
L’or Eyeba Mputu leads the team, averaging 13 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The sophomore from the Democratic Republic of Congo was named the Central Conference Player of the Year, to the Region 8 All-State Team as well as the Region 8 All-Tournament team.
Shadaria Smith is averaging 11 points per game and was named to the Region 8 All-Tournament team. The sophomore guard from Orlando is leading the team with 47 steals.
Isimenme Ozzy-Momodu is averaging 10 points and 9.2 rebounds off the bench for the Titans. The freshman from London, England has 11 double-doubles this season.
Amelia Hassett is averaging eight points and seven rebounds per game and Elli Garnett is averaging seven points and five rebounds.
The Titans will travel to Lubbock, Texas next week and open the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament on March 23 against the winner of Wednesday’s Casper-Walters State first-round game at 7 p.m. EDT.
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