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BRONX CC WINS NJCAA REGION XV FINAL OVER NASSAU, 95-68;
March 4, 2012BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Photo by: Greg Armstrong
2012 NJCAA Region XV Championship Game
Bronx Community College (27-5) scored 63 points in the second half of the 2012 NJCAA Region XV Championship game to defeat Nassau Community College, 95-68 to advance to the Nationals for the first time in school history. It's been a magical year for the BCC Broncos, as the team won the CUNY Athletic Conference / Con Edison Championship for the second straight season, were ranked #9 Nationally lasy week, and now blew away the competition at the Region XV Tournament at the Monroe Athletic Complex in New Roc City, NY.
Ronell Ross led the Broncos with 24 points, followed closely by Matthew Thomas (21 points), Claude Blue (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Ernest Quaye (15). Sophomore Chris Davis had 13 points and eight assists, many in the second hald, when BCC was 7-12 from beyond the arc to make the game a blowout.
Now head coach Shannon McKinnon's squad will travel to the home court of their most unfriendly foe, Sullivan Community College in Loch Sheldrake, NY from March 15-17, for a chance at the school's first and the Conference's second-ever NJCAA Division III National title (Hostos won in 2005).
"I'm excited about shut down defense we played throughout this Tournament," said McKinnon. "In all three games, we were able to step up on the defensive side of the ball and just make our opponents bend and break."
The Broncos, winners of seven straight games, drew an unexpected opponent in the Region title game, fully expecting the same opponent as last season when they lost 100-82 in Sullivan CC. But in the semifinals, Nassau upset the #2 team in the Nation, Sullivan, 70-69 to put the Broncos, who were 18-2 in Region XV this season (both losses were to Sullivan) in the drivers seat.
"We press for 40 minutes, we're not going to back down," said an always confident McKinnon, a two-time CUNYAC Coach of the Year. "We don't wilt under pressure, we've gone through so much this season on and off the court, that we're mentally prepared for the Nationals. Our defense will be the key, because we have proved ourselves offensively all season."
In the game, BCC struggled in the first half, playing their third game on consecutive days. Blue, the 2012 CUNYAC/Con Edison Tournament MVP had only two points and three fouls at the break with the Broncos leading 32-27. But McKinnon stuck with Blue and BCC got rolling, shooting 56% from the field and 86% from the free throw line in the second half.
"I hope that we will be contenders Nationally for years to come, conlcuded McKinnon. "Young men can come to Bronx Community to get a great education and play on a good basketball team without having to live on campus or pay a ridculous price for college. We're getting to be exactly where we want to be as a team and Athletic Program. Now we just have to wait 11 days to play again!"