AT THE NJCAA TOURNAMENT: Wednesday

AT THE NJCAA TOURNAMENT: Wednesday

A day off for the Lady Cards proved to be a day of disappointment for the Cardinals.

The ninth-seeded Cardinals saw their hopes of a first national championship dashed in an 85-80 second round loss to eighth-seeded Eastern Florida State. Their season ended with a 28-5 record.

The 28 wins tied for the fifth most in a season in school history.

With the scored tied 47-47 with 15:55 left in the game, Eastern Florida State, which last year lost to Hutchinson in the national title game, seized momentum and look control, building a 10-point lead. The Cardinals would never be back in the lead.

Wendell Mitchell tossed in 28 points, including six three-pointers, to lead the Cardinals. Lorenzo Phillips and Damari Parris had 14 each. Phillips had four three-pointers and Parris two.

The Cardinals leave Hutch with a 13-8 record in national tournament games.

While the Cardinals were seeing their season end, the Lady Cards were preparing for today's second round game against an impressive Jones County team. The Mississippi-based Lady Bobcats are 26-3 and have won 10 straight games, all by double digits.

Jones County, the tournament's No. 4 seed, received a first round bye in the 24-team tournament. The Lady Bobcats have not played a game since March 9, when they were a 98-74 winner against Copiah-Lincoln in the Region 23 tournament championship game.

The Lady Cards (28-5), the tournament's No. 20 seed, scored a 51-38 win against NEO in their tournament opener Monday night.

When the Lady Cards take to the floor at the Rip Griffin Center at 1 p.m. here in Lubbock today, it will be the 87th national tournament game in school history. They are 67-19 and have appeared in 13 title games, winning eight. The Lady Cards have appeared in six of the last seven national championship games.

The TVCC-Jones winner advances to the quarterfinals to face the Cochise-Walters State winner at 5 p.m. Thursday.

On the weather front, it's 48 in Lubbock this morning. The high today with partly cloudy conditions is expected to reach 76.

Here wishing the Cardinals a safe trip home and the Lady Cards the best against Jones County. Let's do this!

--BENNY ROGERS