The Harford Community College women's basketball team made history Monday afternoon, winning a NJCAA Division I National Tournament game in Texas.
The Fighting Owls (30-3) defeated San Jacinto, 80-72, in the opening round of the tourney being played at Lubbock Christian University. It is the first win in national tournament history for the HCC women.
"I thought we really came out firing and making a lot of shots to set the tone. We were confident early and that's what we needed to do," HCC coach Mike Seney said.
Aberdeen product Nazje Norton played a big role early in the win, dropping in 15 points on a five-for-five shooting performance from beyond the three-point line. Norton, a sophomore, made just the second start in her HCC career and finished with 17 points.
"Starting Nazje was a spur of the moment decision, but I knew she was ready," Seney said. "That kid can really shoot it and I was really proud of her for performing so well on the national stage."
Norton's play allowed HCC to hold a 45-39 lead at halftime. San Jacinto, however, came out hot, knotting the game at 46 all. The Gators took their first lead, 60-58, with a minute left in the third quarter and then led 62-61 with one quarter to play.
The Fighting Owls put on a full court press in the forth and it paid off. Danielle Durjan's three-point basket put the Owls back ahead and for good, 73-70.
Daisa Harris, the Owls' stellar, record-setting sophomore, made a floater in the paint late that sealed the win. Harris finished with 26 points. She also made a pair of steals and is three shy of the all-time steals record at HCC.
Harford will be back in national tournament action Tuesday as the Fighting Owls ware set to take on No. 1 seed Gulf Coast State. The tip is set for 3 p.m.
The Fighting Owls lost to the Commodores in the regular season, falling 90-70 during a road trip to Florida.