SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) No. 2 Morningside (Iowa) kept its quest for a fourth banner alive Thursday in dominating fashion, as the Mustangs knocked off the No. 7 seed Point Park (Pa.), 83-52, in the first round of the 2014 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by State Farm. Morningside advances to play the winner of No. 3 College of Saint Mary (Neb.) and No. 6 Friends (Kan.) at 8:45 p.m. CDT on Friday.
The Mustangs, who are making their 12th appearance at the Division II national championship, are now 11-1 all-time in the first round with their only loss coming against Cedarville (Ohio), 80-69, in 2003 – the program’s first-ever trip.
Junior forward Ashlynn Muhl led Morningside with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while also grabbing 10 rebounds en route to her ninth double-double of the season. The First Team All-Great Plains Athletic Conference selection and returning honorable mention All-American has scored in double figures 21 times this season.
In addition to Muhl, 12 other Mustangs made the score sheet, including seven individuals with at least six points.
Defensively, Morningside frustrated the Pioneers the entire evening, forcing 29 turnovers, which turned into 27 points. The Mustangs also held a 48-44 edge in rebounding and 16-7 advantage in steals.
Point Park jumped out to a 5-0 lead after Carly Forse bucket, however the lead would not hold as Morningside outscored the Pioneers 35-13 throughout the remainder of the period.
The Mustangs maintained the pressure in the second half, pushing its lead out to as many as 32 points during the final 20 minutes. Point Park, which shot 32.7 percent from the field in the second half, was held without a field goal for the last 7:35 of the game.
Point Park had three individuals in double figures, led by Forse’s 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting.
With the loss, Point Park ends its season with a 29-5 overall record. The Pioneers, who received an automatic berth after winning the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament title, are winless in three trips to the national championship.