Women's Basketball: Fighting Owls Win Its First Ever National Tournament Contest

Photo courtesy of Harford Athletics.
  • Tournament: NJCAA Division I National Tournament
  • Opponent: San Jacinto Gators
  • Score: # 17 Harford  – #16 San Jacinto
  • Records: #17 Harford (29-3) #16 San Jacinto (24-9)
  • Location: Lubbock, Texas – Lubbock Christian University
  • The Short Story: The Harford women's basketball team earned its first ever national tournament victory in program history with an 80-72 win over their Texas based opponents.
  • Box Score: Click Here


HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Daisa Harris got out to a quick start with a bucket, steal on the inbound, and another jumper.
  • Nazje Norton hits back-to-back three pointers early to put Harford up 10-4.
  • Harris was whistled for two charges in first three minutes and hit the bench for the rest of the first quarter.
  • Norton hit another three from 28 feet out to take an 18-10 lead. Hit another one a couple of possessions later as she went 4-4 from behind the arc in the first quarter.
  • Norton hit yet another three pointer early in the second quarter to go 5-5 to start the game from three point range.
  • Dominique Walker was a monster on defense with three blocks in the first quarter, but picked up her third foul early in the second and sat for the rest of the first half.
  • Despite the Fighting Owl hot shooting, they led just 45-39 at halftime as San Jacinto fought back.
  • The Gators went on a run to start the second half and tied the game at 46.
  • Harford and San Jacinto traded barbs for much of the third quarter with the Gators taking their first lead of the game at 60-58 with a minute left in the stanza.
  • Harford stopped a 9-2 run with a Harris three pointer and Harford trailed 62-61 going into the final quarter.
  • Harris scored seven in the third quarter as she got up to 20 points after 30 minutes.
  • The Fighting Owls put on the full court press in the fourth quarter and it paid off as Walker forced a couple of steals to get Harford running their fast paced game.
  • Danielle Durjan hit a massive three to take the lead back for Harford at 73-70 with three minutes left as Harris penetrated and kicked out to her standing wide open.
  • Dahnye Redd made a couple of big baskets in the last couple of minutes with a dribble drive lay-up, followed by a lay-up on a Harris assist.
  • Harris made a floater in the paint in the last minute that proved to be the dagger as Harford closed out the game.


GAME QUOTES AND NOTES:

Head Coach Michael Seney: "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. Starting Nazje [Norton] was a spur of the moment decision, but I knew she was ready. That kid can really shoot it and I was really proud of her for performing so well on the national stage. I preach to the team that all we need is three stops in a row and three baskets then we force them to call a timeout and we can run with it. They started collapsing on Daisa [Harris] so she made some plays like the big three by Danielle [Durjan] and then Dahnye Redd was so physical inside. Dominique Walker does so much that shows up on a stat sheet, but also so much more. She was getting tips on the ball defensively to create turnovers and that's what got us back in the game."

Sophomore Guard Daisa Harris: "I knew from the start that we were going to shoot the ball well today, even from warm-ups. All I needed to do was drive and dish and let [my teammates] make the shots. We have been through a lot, but we know that we need to stay together."

Sophomore Guard Danielle Durjan: "I feel like our confidence was much better today as a team. Coach [Seney] is talking to us all the time about confidence and being ready. On the offensive side we were really flourishing today. It was really on the defensive side that we needed to step it up after they went on a run in the third quarter. That is how we got the lead back and were able to finish strong."

  • Daisa Harris scored 26 points in the game along with six assists and just one turnover
  • Harris also secured a couple of steals in the game and is now just three steals away from adding career steals record holder to her lengthy list of accolades at Harford.
  • Nazje Norton was the story of the first half as she hit her first five three-point shots in just her second career start in her two year stint with the Fighting Owls. The sophomore guard scored 17 points in the game despite averaging just 5.3 points per game coming into the contest.
  • Dominique Walker was unable to provide her usual offensive productivity, but was a huge part of the defensive effort and had an all-around great game despite the early foul trouble.
  • Dahnye Redd was a rebound away from a double-double and finished with 16 points on 8-12 shooting from the floor.
  • Danielle Durjan hit four three pointers on the way to a 15-point game while playing almost the entire 40 minutes.
  • Joy Morton was the only bench player to score as she made a single free throw in the first half. Morton did provide some quality minutes as she pulled down six rebounds in just five minutes of play.
  • Harford as a team started the game shooting 10-17 from behind the arc before that pace tailed off. The team still finished with a 40% three-point percentage.