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Record-Setting 2023-2024 GovState women's basketball team earns NAIA National Tournament spot

Jaguars led by three graduate students and two seniors

Six women on Governors State University basketball court, five are student basketball players with their framed jerseys and sixth woman is their coach

By Mark Johnson, GovState Sports Information Director, Guest Writer

Experience has paid huge dividends for the Governors State University (GovState) women’s basketball team winning a new school record 23 games in 2023-2024. 

Sixth-year Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tonishea Mack praises the leadership and experience of her record-setting team and the success this season.

“We are setting milestones, achievable milestones…. First it was to compete in every game, then it was to get to win 17 for this special team to hold the best women's basketball record at GovState , now it is to get over win 20 to 23… This team is special,” said Coach Mack.

“I do not think it is the actual win number 20 that excites them. What excites them is setting the standard for another team to chase. Raising the bar for women's basketball. This team wants to break and hold all the records as long as they can, so they are trying to set the standard high and that is why this team special.”

The 2023-24 Jaguars include three graduate students playing in their fifth season with Coach Mack (third from right), Angelique Cowan (second from left), Tabetha Jones (far left), and Trinity Sims (second from right) and two seniors Gaetana Davis (third from left) and Ce’niyah Hampton (far right).

The Jaguars broke the school record of 16 wins set in the 2018-19 season (Mack’s first year as GovState head coach) and are 23-6 overall this year and placed second in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Conference with a school record-smashing 17-3 league record. Governors State will next be selected into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) Nationals Tournament opening rounds March 15-16 (NAIA Selection Day is March 7) for the school’s first-ever appearance at Nationals in the ninth year of GovState women’s basketball.

The veteran leaders of the 2023-2024 GovState women's basketball team were all honored in the 2024 Senior Day game at the GovState ARC vs. Holy Cross College on Feb. 24. They also took some time to reflect on their GovState journey.

“As my time as a Jaguar slowly winds down, I have never been more thankful to be a part of the family,” said Gaetana.

Ce'niyah followed with similar sentiments. "I learned a lot on this ride that I’ll forever hold close to me. I’m very excited to see what the future holds for me.”

Trinity shared something she'll never forget. “Being an athlete has shown me the opportunities a person can get out of their hard work and for that I’ll forever be internally thankful.”

Angelique expressed gratitude for her journey. “I want to thank all my teammates and coaches over the years, especially this group for everything y’all have done for me and reminding me why taking my 5th year was worth it.”

Tabetha recalled the challenges she faced and those who helped her push through. “To the current players and past teammates, thank you for being a family. My Mom and Dad, upmost appreciation for everything you guys have done.”

GovState’s second place CCAC finish earned the Jaguars an automatic NAIA Nationals championship tournament bid and will compete March 15-16 at Nationals. March 7 is the NAIA national selection day and GovState will find out its destination and opponent for first-round play.

See all the Jaguars post-season action on NAIA livestream at