PENSACOLA, Fla. — No one would like to get 26 games into a basketball season and only have eight victories to show for it.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the end of the story of the 2016-17 season for the Lady Eagles of Pensacola Christian College, whose starting five features former Surry Lady Patriots star Jessica Boyd.
After a 51-45 loss at Bob Jones University on Jan. 20, PCC held exactly that mark. However, the Lady Eagles haven’t lost a game since. Along with a nine-game winning streak for the team came a special honor for the 5’7” sophomore forward, who was named as the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division II Athlete of the Week last week.
In a seven-day period between Feb. 10 and Feb. 16, Pensacola completed its late-season charge, winding up the regular season with victories over Johnson University, Bob Jones, Arlington Baptist and Judson. The highlight of the week for Boyd came in the rematch with Bob Jones, which provided for the fourth reunion of former Surry teammates Boyd and Hannah Tompkins and Sydney Bedsaul, both of whom play for the Lady Bruins. She scored 26 points in leading PCC to the 78-62 revenge victory.
However, that was far from the only highlight. Three days after facing BJU, the team hosted Arlington Baptist College, the nation’s top-ranked team in the NCCAA D2 ranks. Pensacola knocked off Arlington, with Boyd leading the way. She posted 18 points, eight rebounds, six steals and four assists in the Lady Eagles’ 80-73 victory. On Feb. 16, she wound up the regular season with 19 points and eight assists in a win at Judson College. For the week, she averaged 18.5 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals.
The nine-game winning streak has vaulted Pensacola all the way to the No. 4 spot in the national rankings. Although the team’s record in all games is 17-18, its official record, not counting games against teams in higher classifications that were officially exhibitions, is 16-12. They begin play in the NCCAA South Region Tournament tonight in Toccoa Falls, Ga. as the No. 1 seed in the six-team regional. Two victories would send the team to the six-team national championship tournament in Ankeny, Iowa, on March 9-11.
Boyd played for Surry Homeschool between 2010 and 2015, and helped the team win the state championship in her senior season. Her sister Jill is a current member of the Lady Patriots.
Not only is she having success on the court, she is also excelling in the classroom, having made the Dean’s List every semester since she enrolled at PCC.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.