By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) No. 7 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) opened the 2014 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championships with a 91-86 upset win over No. 2 Concordia (Neb.) Wednesday morning at the Tyson Events Center. The Tigers, who in two previous trips were winless at the event, will face the winner of No. 3 Southwestern (Kan.) and No. 6 Eastern Oregon at 8:30 a.m. CDT on Friday.
Olivet Nazarene sophomore forward Cortney Allenbaugh paced the Tigers with a season-high 22 points off the bench on 7-for-7 shooting from the field and a 8-for-10 effort at the free throw line. The Morton, Ill., native added seven rebounds in the effort. Joining Allenbaugh in double figures for Olivet Nazarene were Miranda Geever with 16 points, Taylor Haymes with 11 points and Carlee Nicolas with 11 points.
Overall, the Tigers shot 33.3 percent (26-for-77) from the field, but struggled from beyond the arch, converting only 8-of-43 attempts. One of the difference makers in the contest was free throw shooting. Olivet Nazarene outscored Concordia 31-14 at the charity stripe.
Four of Concordia’s five starters scored in double figures, led by Tracy Peitz’s game-high 23 points. Becky Mueller was next with 19 points, followed by Great Plains Athletic Conference Player of the Year Baily Morris with 15.
As a team, Concordia shot 37.6 percent (32-of-85) from the field. The Bulldogs held a 59-55 edge in rebounding, but could not overcome a season-high 31 turnovers.
With the loss, Concordia is eliminated in the first round of the national championship for the second-straight season and ends the year with a 25-8 record.