The Daily Express

Owens Community College Express Men's Basketball Voted No. 1 in the Nation by NJCAA

Continuing to build on a season of success, the Owens Community College men' s basketball team today was ranked No. 1 in the nation among Division II basketball programs by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

"This is quite an achievement for us," said Jim Welling, Owens Men's Basketball Head Coach. "I'm very proud of all of our players who really have been putting forth the hard work and effort required to take us to where we are."

The 2002-2003 edition of the Owens Men's Basketball team plays a very aggressive style, both on defense and offense, said Welling, who now has 456 wins in his 17-year tenure as the head men's basketball coach at Owens.

"Our team also is very unselfish," he said. "Each game it seems as though there is always someone different who steps up to lead the team in scoring, rebounds or assists, which makes it very hard for opponents preparing to play for us."

The Owens Express balanced attack has led to an impressive 10-0 overall record.

"We're flattered by this ranking, however, we still have a lot of difficult games ahead of us," said Welling, whose past teams have achieved No. 1 rankings and won two NJCAA Division II National Championships in 1992 and 1993. "Nobody wins a National Championship in December."

In recent weeks, Owens was crowned Delta College Tournament champions with wins over Alma College JVs 108-51 and Delta College 91-76. They captured regular season victories over Mott Community College 81-68 and Kellogg Community College 92-71.

The Owens Community College women's basketball team has experienced similar success as the men's program. The Express have an overall record of 8-3.

Wins over Mott Community College 72-62, Kellogg Community College 91-80, Kalamazoo Valley Community College 100-82 and Lake Michigan College 83-38 have the women's basketball team once again considered one of the favorites to capture the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championship.

In the coming weeks, the men's basketball team will play in the St. Clair County Community College Tournament in Port Huron, Michigan, Friday-Saturday, December 6-7. They then will travel to Henry Ford Community College for a non-conference game on Wednesday, December 11, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Express next home contest will be against Delta College when they host the Express Holiday Tournament, Friday-Saturday, December 13-14.

The women's basketball team will battle Monroe Community College (NY) in home action on Sunday, December 8, starting at 1 p.m. The Express will visit Henry Ford Community College on Wednesday, December 11, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

All home games are played at the College's Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) on the Toledo-area Campus, which is located on Oregon Road, four miles from Downtown Toledo. Admission to home games is free.

Place College Location Record Points 1st Pl Votes Last Week
1 Owens Community College Toledo, OH 9-0 66 5 1
2 Community College of Beaver County Monaca, PA 6-0 52 3 3
3 Kirkwood Community College Cedar Rapids, IA 7-1 50 1 2
4 Genesee Community College Batavia, NY 6-0 40 0 5
5 Moraine Valley Community College Palos Hills, IL 5-1 34 0 8
6 Des Moines Area Community College Boone, IA 9-1 31 0 13
7 Prince George's Community College Largo, MD 4-0 26 0 11
8 Glen Oaks Community College Centreville, MI 5-1 25 0 4
9 St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley St. Louis, MO 6-1 21 0 NR
10 Alabama Southern Community College Monroeville, AL 6-2 18 0 9
11 Penn Valley Community College Kansas City, MO 7-3 16 0 7
12 Muskegon Community College Muskegon, MI 5-0 14 0 NR
13 Mitchell College New London, CT 6-2 12 0 15
14 Iowa Central Community College Fort Dodge, IA 8-1 9 0 NR
15 Lackawanna College Scranton, PA 3-1 8 0 14

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing community college of its size in the nation. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students in Northwest Ohio. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 140 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor 's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.

Posted 12/09/02

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