TC opens conference play against rival Dillard
by LaVonte Young
Jan 03, 2014 | 1832 views |  0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brian Schoenhals/The Daily Home
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The Lady Tornadoes have defeated two Division I teams on Buzzer-beaters by Tianna Jones.
Brian Schoenhals/The Daily Home

The Lady Tornadoes have defeated two Division I teams on Buzzer-beaters by Tianna Jones.
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TALLADEGA- The 13th ranked Talladega College Lady Tornadoes open Gulf Coast Atlantic Conference play today at 3 p.m. against Dillard at Callahan Gymnasium. Head coach Romeo Lagmay recalls his first win at Talladega College came against Dillard in 2008. Since that time the Lady Tornadoes have only lost once to the Lady Blue Devils.

“I gave them a history about Dillard,” Lagmay said. “About three or four years ago they were on top of the conference. They have a new head coach this year, they are in a stage of rebuilding, and they have a solid senior that left. They are 0-5, but I psychologically told the team today they have nothing to lose. It is 0-0 in conference play, it is all up for grabs, and they could possibly win the conference if they want to start off that way. You don’t know what their mentality is like, so I am telling the team that psychologically to still believe that you are one of the top teams in the country and you are still the team to beat .You can’t have any let ups, continue to play as hard as you can, have confidence in your teammates, the style we run and be prepared for every team coming at you now. Conference is a deferent mind game; every game in conference is like a rivalry. We always have an inside rivalry where the New Orleans schools are against us. So we usually start with Dillard, who’s in New Orleans, SUNO and Xavier. The New Orleans schools all want to gang up on us.”

Before going on Christmas break, the Lady Tornadoes (11-1) defeated Arkansas Pine Bluff, 77-75 on a Tianna Jones layup. This is the second NCAA Division I program that TC has defeated this season. Jones also hit the game winner against Samford.

“What is funny about that game was I think it was a four second difference, the same play, the ball was taken out on the same side of the court against Samford and it was the same exact play,” Lagmay said. At the timeout, I said T you know what to do we are going to put the ball in your hands. It is the same play, side out of bounds in front of their bench and you get it and go all the way. She did the same thing; she made the same layup in the same amount of time at the buzzer and won the game. It was a great early Christmas gift for us. We are the only school in the country in NAIA that has two Division I schools under their belt. Another NAIA school in California has one Division I game won.”

The Lady Tornadoes dropped their first game of the season to Cumberland right before Christmas break. Cumberland defeated TC, 69-54 to avenge their loss earlier in the season at Talladega.

“The first half of the season we had that one defeat against Cumberland, but they were so ready for us,” Lagmay said. “You have to tip your hat for a team being prepared for a second meeting. We were open, but we just had an off night and that is what happens in college basketball, you have an off night. We lost that game, we felt what it is like to bleed a little bit and that put us in check a little bit. We want to get back into the swing of things and continue the success that we had in the first part of the season. The Lord has blessed us with a lot of success and the ball rolling our way on offensive and defensively. It is one of those things were you tell the seniors that the roller coaster ride is almost over and stay with it. Maximize every opportunity that you have. I think that is the sense of urgency right now, capitalize on opportunities especially as upper classmen. “

The Lady Tornadoes also got it done in the classroom during the fall semester. TC had an overall GPA of 3.3, which pleased Lagmay.

“Once again that is awesome,” Lagmay said. “Hopefully, we can keep that going. Our goal is a 3.5 and we fell short of it, a 3.3. Our expectations are really high academically and I am really proud of our girls because the demand of you committing to college basketball with fund raising, community service, team practice, individual practice, study hall, classes and tutorial sections. That is a lot to ask for to have a team with a 3.3. I have five girls that have over a 3.5, so that is great to have that IQ in the classroom and I think that is one of the reasons we have success on the court.”