HUTCHINSON, Kansas – Despite four players scoring in double figures, the San Jacinto College men’s basketball team could not pull out a first-round win at the 2015 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, falling 76-74 to Columbia State Community College, Monday night at the Hutchinson Sports Arena, in Hutchinson, Kansas.
For San Jac (28-6), it was the first time back to Hutch since the 2006 season, and the 20th overall appearance in the national tournament. San Jacinto College earned one of four at-large bids to the tournament after finishing as the Region XIV runner-up.
Against Columbia State (26-6), sophomore Willie Magnum (Richmond, Va. / Marshall HS / Western Nebraska Community College) led San Jac with 16 points. He also dished out four assists and had three steals. Fellow classmate Donte Thomas (Washington, D.C. / Ballou HS / Hagerstown Community College) scored 14, hitting both shots he took from beyond the arc, while dishing out five assists. San Jac’s other top scorers were Pearland’s Jevonlean Hedgeman (Pearland HS) with 12, and Candido Sa (Lisbon, Portugal / Colegio Bartelomeou Dias) with 10 points.
San Jacinto College last won the men’s basketball national title in 1986, when the team went undefeated with a 37-0 record. San Jac was the national runner-up in 2003. This was the first trip to the national tournament under Head Coach Scott R. Gernander, who is in his third season at the helm of the San Jac program.
About the NJCAA
Since 1938 the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has been the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. The NJCAA is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year nearly 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events and nine football bowl games. NJCAA Headquarters has been located in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 1985. For more information visit njcaa.org.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.