Rivals Moraine Valley, South Suburban meet in NJCAA DII National Tournament

Image courtesy of NJCAA
Image courtesy of NJCAA

Separated by just 15 miles, rivals Moraine Valley Community College and South Suburban College both traveled nearly 600 miles to Harrison, Arkansas, for a chance to compete in the 2019 NJCAA Division II Women's Basketball National Tournament, and eventually found themselves matched up in the consolation bracket. The #4-seeded Cyclones and the #8-seeded Bulldogs each lost their tournament opener, and after a consolation bracket victory, squared off for a chance to play for seventh place. In the end, MVCC finished eighth in the nation and SSC was not far behind.

Moraine Valley Community College was upset by #13 Lackawanna Community College (PA) on a buzzer-beater to fall 93-92. The Cyclone recovered to defeat #5 Niagara County Community College (NY) 74-59 to set up the showdown with South Suburban. After taking down their cross-town rivals by a 78-66 final, Moraine Valley was upended in the 7th Place Game by #15 Wayne County Community College (MI), 81-68 and wrapped up a 34-3 season. Sophomore forward Julia Ruzevich was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 14.5 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.7 steals.

South Suburban College fell by a 67-55 margin against #9 Union County College (NJ), who went on to finish as the national runner-up. The Bulldogs rebounded with an 82-60 drubbing of #16 North Platte-Mid Plains Community College (NE) in their first consolation game. Their season eventually closed with the 12-point setback to Moraine Valley, giving South Suburban a final record of 29-7.