Lake Michigan College team honoredPublished 10:08pm Wednesday, March 28, 2012
BENTON HARBOR — Students, faculty, staff and fans cheered as the members of the NJCAA Division II National Runner-up women’s basketball team were introduced in the Lake Michigan College gymnasium on Wednesday during a celebratory rally hosted by the college.
Last week, the nationally seventeenth ranked LMC women entered the NJCAA Division II national championship tournament as a No. 7 seed out of 16 teams. After victories over Lake Land College, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and Kishwaukee College, they took on a tough team from Monroe College in Brooklyn, New York, in the championship game on Saturday. In a closely contested battle, the LMC women lost 78-73. But, their strong run in the tournament solidified their end-of-season rank as the No. 2 team in the country.
This is the first time in the college’s history that the women’s basketball team has progressed this far in the national tournament. Head coach and LMC athletic director Jason Cooper took the team to the tournament in 2010, at which time they finished seventh.
“We are so proud of the accomplishments of this team,” stated LMC President Robert Harrison during the rally. “They exemplify what it means to be student-athletes who work hard, are committed, and understand the value of teamwork. Head coach Jason Cooper and assistant coach Doris Cooper have provided great leadership and guidance to the women.”
The 30-5 (.857) Indians garnered several team and individual successes this season. They won the NJCAA District G Women’s Basketball Tournament during which Priscilla Miranda (East Aurora, Ill.) and JaBria Hill (Grand Rapids) were named to the All-tournament Team, Breauna Rivoli-Johnson (Hammond, Ind.) was named tournament MVP and Coach Jason Cooper was named NJCAA District G Coach of the Year.
Rivoli-Johnson was also named to the All-Region XII team, All-MCCAA team, All-Western Conference First team, Western Conference All-Freshman team, Western Conference Freshman of the Year and Western Conference All-Defensive team.
Miranda was named to the Western Conference All-Defensive team and the Western Conference Third team. Allison Beard (Ida, MI) was named to the All-Western Conference Honorable Mention team.
The rest of the team includes: Ciarra Rench (North Eaton, Ind.), Noelly Scott (Mishawaka, Ind.), Essence Robinson (Michigan City, Ind.), Emily Kozinski (Edwardsburg), Courtney Peter (Stevensville), TeAsia Bradshaw (Grand Rapids), Narshanda Malone (Gary, Ind.), Gloria Jeter (Portage, Ind.), Christina Fisher (Kalamazoo), athletic trainer Dan Tinkey and team manager Regina Reed.