The MSJC women's basketball team picked up three wins over the weekend to win their fourth tournament title in a row as they won the Desert Winter Classic at College of the Desert.
The Lady Eagles opened the tourney on Thursday with a 79-58 victory over Fullerton College. MSJC opened the game quickly as they built a 22-2 lead in the opening 8 minutes on their way to a 41-21 halftime lead. Four MSJC players reached double figures in scoring led by Britney Thomas who had 28 points and 16 rebounds in the victory. Suzie Castro-Larsen came off the bench to add 13, while Sarina Johnson had 12 and Nokomis Cabrera added 10. MSJC dominated the boards in the victory out rebounding Fullerton 64-25 for the game.
In Friday's semi-final contest the Lady Eagles pushed a three point first quarter lead into a 9 point lead at halftime on their way to a 71-54 win over Pasadena City College. Thomas tied for team high honors scoring 16 points along with Christina Grant who also pulled down 8 rebounds to go with her 16. Crystal Malveaux had 9 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds to help MSJC pull away for the win. Cabrera hit double figures in scoring for the second straight day with 13 off the bench.
MSJC started slow in Saturday's championship game as they fell behind Mission College 23-9 after the first quarter. The Lady Eagles battled back to cut the lead to 8 by halftime and then used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to seize control of the game. Thomas' two free throws with 7:09 left in the third gave MSJC the lead for good as the Lady Eagles scored 42 points in the third period on their way to the 94-86 victory. Six Lady Eagles led a balanced scoring attack as Johnson led the way with 18. Thomas added 17, Malveaux had 13, Genaya Wilkinson came off the bench to score 12, Victoria Sosa also added to the strong bench play scoring 11 points, and Grant finished the day with 10.
Thomas was named the MVP of the tournament while Johnson and Malveaux earned all tournament honors.
The three wins improved the Lady Eagles record to 12-0 on the season. MSJC will be back in action at the Ventura Optimists Club Tournament beginning on Monday December 28th. The Lady Eagles will open that tournament with a game against El Camino at 3 pm.
Crystal Malveaux (pictured) and Sarina Johnson were named to the all tournament team and Britney Thomas earned MVP honors as the MSJC women's basketball team won the title at the Desert Winter Classic held in Palm Desert over the weekend. (DeeAnn Bradley/MSJC)