BRCC women cruise into region semifinals

The Baton Rouge Community College women’s basketball team handled Jones Community College 72-52 in the quarterfinals of the Region 23 tournament Thursday in Clinton, Miss.

Aside from some early jitters, BRCC coach Paula Lee said her Lady Bears (21-8) controlled the majority of the contest with a full-court press.

“The first five minutes, it was nerves,” she said. “We were missing some easy baskets and giving up offensive rebounds on their end. We called a timeout, told them to settle in and let’s play our style of basketball. We picked up the tempo. We mixed it up with our man presses and our zone presses. It paid off a great deal.”

No. 7 seed BRCC finished with 19 steals and built a 22-point halftime lead. Talaih Robertson and Ke’ra St. John had 14 points each for BRCC, followed by Keisha Toston with 13. Forward Kaylan Hughes led all scorers with 19 points for No. 4 seed Jones.

“I think we did get a little bit complacent in the second half and started getting kind of careless with the basketball and not executing as efficiently as we should have,” Lee said. “I subbed liberally in the second half and things like that, but I think we lost our focus a little bit. But like I told the girls, I’ll take an ugly win in the regional tournament as opposed to a pretty loss.”

BRCC will face No. 6 seed Gulf Coast Community College in Friday’s 6 p.m. semifinal. It’s a rematch of a Nov. 14 matchup in Baton Rouge, when the Lady Bears, won 64-57.

“It’s going to be a familiar opponent, but at the same time it’s March Madness,” Lee said. “We’ve got to come ready to play.”