The No. 6 seed College of Southern Maryland Hawks women's basketball team will face the No. 3 seed Howard Community College Dragons in the NJCAA Region XX Division II Tournament Quarterfinals on Thursday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. Howard Community College is hosting the tournament.
CSM beat the Dragons 92-67 on February 21.
If CSM were to beat Howard, they would move on to face either No. 7 seed Cecil College or No. 2 seed Chesapeake College on Saturday, March 7, at 3:00 p.m. in the semifinals. If they win their semifinal matchup, the Hawks would move on to the championship game to be played on Sunday, March 8, at 1:00 p.m. Possible championship opponents include No. 1 seed CCBC Essex, No. 8 seed WVU Potomac State College, No. 4 seed Montgomery College, or No. 5 seed Community College of Beaver County.
CSM head coach Ardell Jackson's thoughts ahead of Thursday's game:
"New season. Season one over, new season. Can't look at what you did against [Howard] then, you have to prepare like you've never played them before, and be ready. They're at home. They pretty much have the home advantage over everybody. They're going to have the crowd advantage. We beat them here, regular season, so they're going to want that revenge. They've done a great job as far as history, and making history with their program. It's just going to be a battle between two good teams. You have to come ready to play."
"Region XX is all about matchups. I think we match up well against Howard. I think we match up well against pretty much anybody in Region XX. With us, it's just which team is going to show up. For us, it's just preparing to be able to play. The way we look at Region XX as a team and as a coaching staff is each game is a championship game. So we just take it one championship game at a time. Our whole thing Thursday is, we're playing a championship game. We have to leave it all out there in order to go to that second season. For us, we break it up in three seasons. We have our first season on Thursday - we go into that game, it's a one-game season, then we move on. We do what we need to do, we can move on and advance to the second season, and we just keep breaking it up that way. Just focus on one game at a time, one possession at a time. Matchups are big, you always want a good matchup early. It's going to be a dog fight. This is probably one of the toughest Region XX tournaments that I participated in at CSM. Not taking anything from last year's run, but if you look at the standings, you have three teams 6-6, you have two teams 8-4, it could have went either way. That's what you want for a league, you want a competitive league, you want people to respect your league. We're playing in, to me, I think one of the better leagues in the nation."
"We have a good squad of girls out there that are ready to play basketball and ready to try to bring some history here to CSM as well. Everybody has their own mission within their own programs, and we want to be the first team to win a Region XX championship in the history here. That's been our goal since we've stepped on the court. We're trying to make some history and we're just going to work hard these next three days to do it."