Jacksonville College's Deva' Nyar Workman gave NJCAA Region XIV a first glimpse at a basketball skill set that made her the rage of southwestern Pennsylvania as a prepster at Reading High School.
Playing in her first conference game on Saturday night at Johnson Gymnasium at Panola College, Workman, a 5-foot-9 guard, proved to be a Miss Do-It-All on the court for the Lady Jaguars.
Workman canned team bests in points (20) and in rebounds (14) as the Lady Jags (8-7, 1-1 in Region XIV) held on to surpass the Fillies (9-8, 1-2), 83-79.
Workman played for the Lady Jags briefly two seasons ago, but was forced to return home for health reasons.
She did not play basketball last year, but returned to JC for the fall semester this season where she was able to practice with the team, but not play, in accordance with NJCAA guidelines.
“I was ready to come back and to get back to work and to be able to help my team,” Workman said. “I think overall we played well as a team, but we're still working to get better and I'm trying to go out there and make everyone else better including myself so we can keep winning conference games.”
Anytime 72 free throws are lofted in a game they usually have a significant role to play in the final outcome.
Such was the case on Saturday.
And although Panola outshot the Lady Jags 75-percent (24-of-32) to 62.5-percent (25-of-40) from the charity line, the JC ladies' effort at the stripe in the final 2:09 of the game proved to be huge.
During that time the Lady Jags sank 8-of-11 from the stripe.
The Fillies cut the JC lead to 75-72 following a three-point play by Atoe Jackson that came with 2:18 showing on the clock.
Jackson led all players by pouring in 23 points while shagging 15 rebounds.
After Jackson's deuce and one, the Lady Jags scored the next six points, all coming on free throws as Khadijah Carter, Workman and Jinaki Robinson each drained a pair from the line to inflate the Lady Jag lead to 81-72 with 95 seconds left in the game.
The Fillies refused to fold however and managed to trim the JC margin to 81-77 at the 51-second mark.
But late free throws by Robinson and Workman salted the verdict away for the visitors.
Carter added 17 points and Robinson contributed 12 for the Lady Jags.
Jasmine Robinson knocked in nine for JC, while Chelsea Rogers and Allison Moore finished with seven apiece.
The Lady Jags led 40-33 to start the final half.
The JC women will play their first conference game at the Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse at 5:30 p.m. tonight when Paris Junior College (6-7, 1-1) comes to town.