The 2023-2024 Mesa Community College women’s basketball team after their win against Scottsdale Community College at the Region I DII playoff final on March 9, 2024. (Photo by Rey Covarrubias Jr./ The Mesa Legend)

Mesa Community College women’s basketball team wins second game of national tournament in Missouri

The Mesa Community College women’s basketball team won their second game of the national tournament in Joplin, MO on March 20 against Rock Valley College to advance to the semifinals.

The Thunderbirds will play either Morton College from Illinois or Kirkwood Community College from Iowa on March 22 for a spot in the national championship game.

Mackenzie Shivers led the team with 22 points while also adding four rebounds and three assists.

Jaida Brooks had a team high seven assists, while Britany Kogbara contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds in the game.

A strong defensive performance pushed the Thunderbirds to an early lead as MCC held a 17-8 scoring advantage at the end of the first quarter.

The Knights did not get to double digit points until the 8:12 mark of the second quarter despite averaging nearly 90 points per game.

The Thunderbirds were consistently able to drive into the lane, resulting in either layup attempts or passes out to three point shooters. 

Rock Valley did not help their case by shooting only 7-30 from three point range on the day, good for only 23.3%. Many of the attempts came early in the shot clock or against good defense played by the Thunderbirds.

MCC outscored Rock Valley 44-26 in the paint and 19-7 in transition, while also scoring 14 points off turnovers. The Thunderbirds also recorded 16 total assists in the game, while Rock Valley totaled only seven.

The Thunderbirds’ largest lead came after a Miquedah Taliman three pointer with just over four minutes to go in the second quarter to increase the lead to 33-14.

MCC held a double digit lead for much of the game, however a late surge by Rock Valley forced the Thunderbirds’ to execute at the end of the game to come away with the victory.

A layup by Alicia Bates of Rock Valley cut the Thunderbird lead down to just four at 60-56 with six minutes to go in the game, however Mackenzie Shivers answered with a three pointer to increase the lead up to seven.

More back and forth scoring cut the lead back down to four with three and a half minutes to go in the game, bringing Rock Valley within two scores at 67-63.

Clutch shot making and passing from Shivers and Jaida Brooks helped propel MCC to a 80-70 victory, securing the Thunderbirds’ place in the semifinals.

MCC’s next game will be against the winner of two seeded Kirkwood Community College from Iowa and seventh seeded Morton College from Illinois on Friday, March 22 at 4 p.m., streamed on the NJCAA website

Games can be streamed after paying for one of three viewing packages. All 2023-2024 NJCAA championships can be viewed for $100, all DII women’s basketball games can be viewed for $35, and a day pass is available for $12.

  • Adam Terro

    Adam Terro is the Sports Editor for the Mesa Legend. He joined the staff in January 2021 and first published with the Legend in fall 2020. His passion is for sports, specifically football and basketball.

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