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No. 2 Vanguard Rolls into Semifinals with Dominant Win

March 18, 2017
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BILLINGS, Mont. – (Box Score) No. 2 Vanguard punched the final ticket into the Fab Four Saturday night with a dominant 71-34 victory over No. 8 William Woods (Mo.) in quarterfinal action at the 2017 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Wells Fargo.

Vanguard will now play No. 1 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) Monday at 8 p.m. MDT in the second of two semifinal contests.

"This is a great opportunity for us and I'm really excited for our girls," said Vanguard Head Coach Russ Davis. "We did a great job defensively. We gave up zero offensive rebounds, so our defense was on point tonight. Hats off to William Woods. They had a great run at this tournament."

The game was an even battle through the first quarter with the Lions leading 12-10. That even play continued through the first three minutes of the second quarter. With Vanguard leading 19-16 at the 7:03 mark. Christi Gerostergiou scored a VU basket, which started a 14-5 run to end the first half and Vanguard never looked back.

The third quarter went from bad to worse for Owls, as they committed 11 turnovers and were outscored by Vanguard 20-3 in the frame. In the fourth quarter, WWU mustered a bit more offense, but were still outscored 16-7.

William Woods had an impressive tournament in their 11th trip to the national championship. The Owls beat a No. 1 Shawnee State (Ohio), 88-85, and No. 5 John Brown (Ark.), 65-61, and made the quarterfinals for the first time. WWU ends their season at 22-12.

Vanguard is making their 19th appearance in the national championship, 16th consecutive and they won the national championship in 2008. It’s the Lions fifth trip to the semifinals. Claire Lamunu led Vanguard with 18 points and 8 rebounds. She has had 10-plus points in 31 games this season.