After a successful 2015-16 regular season, the Salt Lake Community College basketball program has the opportunity to bring home two NJCAA championships.
The women’s basketball team travels to Lubbock, Texas while the men visit Hutchinson, Kansas to play in their respective national tournaments this coming week.
SLCC (26-8) received the No. 13 seed and a first-round matchup against No. 20 seed Northeast Mississippi Community College (18-9) on Monday, March 14 at 2 p.m. local time. The winner will play No. 4 seed Odessa College (27-5) the following day.
Salt Lake earned a trip to Nationals by securing the District 1 Championship on March 5. The Bruins have won their last four games, including a victory over No. 3-ranked North Idaho College in the Region 18 Championship.
SLCC is 8-1 on the season in games held at neutral sites.
Sophomore forward Tyler Rawson leads the team with 15.7 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Conner Toolson averages 14.2 points per game and shoots 40.7 percent from 3-point range.
Sophomore forwards Gibson Johnson and Marcus White also average double figures, scoring 12.5 points per game and 10.5 points per game, respectively. Johnson scored a season-high 30 points in the District 1 Championship.
As a team, the Bruins convert 48.9 percent of their shots, nearly 10 percent higher than their opponents.
SLCC (30-2) earned the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye. Their first game will be Wednesday, March 16 against the winner of No. 14 seed Northeast Community College (28-4) vs. No. 19 seed Vincennes University (28-5).
Salt Lake’s two defeats were against College of Southern Idaho, which also made the tournament as the No. 5 seed. The loss to CSI in the Region 18 Championship snapped a 12-game winning streak where the Bruins won ten of those games by double digits.
Sophomore guard Tilar Clark leads the Bruins in nearly every offensive category, averaging a team-high 15.7 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Other players like sophomore Iva Georgieva, who averages 9.2 points per game and leads the team with 79 assists, have had to step up and fill the role left by freshman guard Monique Mills, who sustained an season-ending injury in late January.
SLCC has dominated their opponents defensively, holding their opponents to 33 percent shooting and nearly doubling the amount of steals (378-195) and blocks (100-52) of their opponents.