The 2017 TCCAA/NJCAA Region VII basketball tournament will begin on Monday at Walters State Community College.
The No. 7 Lady Cougars, who finished with an overall record of 13-14 and were 6-12 in the conference, take on No. 10 Columbia State (5-25, 1-17) at 4 p.m. on Monday in Game 2. The winner of that game will go on to play No. 2 Motlow State (25-4, 16-2) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the quarterfinal (Game 7).
The women's semifinal games will be played on Thursday, with the winner of the Game 7 taking on the winner of Game 8, which is No. 3 Dyersburg State (16-9, 11-7) vs. No. 6 Jackson State (15-9, 9-9).
The women's championship game is set for 2 p.m. on Friday.
Cleveland State's women closed out the regular season with an 87-86 win over Dyersburg State on Feb. 25 and head coach Dan Lumpkin is hoping to see that translate into positive momentum for the region tournament.
"We ended the regular season on a high note with a win on the road and hope to take that momentum into the tournament," Lumpkin said.
"We need to do a better job of taking care of the ball and rebounding, so we have been working on those during practice these past few days. The team has played well in the last couple of games, so we are optimistic about our game on Monday and simply want to take it one game at a time."
During the regular season, Cleveland State swept Columbia State, getting a 77-68 win in Columbia on Nov. 18 and then defeating them at home on Jan. 27 by a score of 59-43.
The Lady Cougars averaged 62.7 ppg in the regular season, with Abby Hubert averaging 14.4 points a game. Leisa Butler has also averaged double-digit scoring this season, with 12.7 ppg
The No. 6 Cougars, who were 15-9 overall and 9-9 in regular season conference play, will also begin their postseason on Monday, taking on No. 10 Dyersburg State (3-22, 1-17) in Game 4 at 8 p.m.
"This time of the year my experience has been the team that wants to play and continue their season the most is usually the most successful with other factors being equal," Cougars head coach Lee Cigliano said.
The winner of Game 4 advances to play No. 2 Walters State (22-6, 12-6) in the quarterfinal at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in Game 11. The Game 11 winner then faces the winner of Game 12, No. 4 Southwest Tennessee (18-9, 11-7) vs. No. 7 Chattanooga State (16-12, 9-9) in the semifinals on Thursday at 8 p.m.
The men's region championship game will be held on Friday at 4 p.m.
"I hope we are looking forward to the tournament," Cigliano stated.
"We've dealt with several setbacks this season and are continuing to look for solutions and changes to help our team. We are mainly trying to keep our mindset focused and renewed at the same time with sharp practices."
Cleveland State closed out their regular season at Dyersburg State, where they came away with a 63-47 win on Feb. 25. The Cougars also defeated Dyersburg 91-68 at home on Nov. 12.
The CSCC men averaged 75.1 ppg in the regular season, with five players averaging double-digit scoring.
Elijah Weems averaged 19.1 ppg, Tevin Olison had 15.6 ppg, Cam Copeland was averaging 11.5 points a game, Victor Curry had 10.6 ppg and Jordan Olison rounded things out with an average 10 points a night. Weems also averaged 10.3 rebounds per game, with Curry following closely with 9.4.
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