INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – (Box Score) No. 3-seed Concordia (Calif.) stormed-out to a big first half lead and held-off No. 6-seeded Carroll (Mont.) in a 59-48 victory on Thursday evening in the first round of the 2015 NAIA National Championship, presented by Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City.
Concordia began its 2015 National Championship with a powerful offensive display in the opening 20 minutes of play on Thursday evening. The Eagles shot 48 percent and recorded 18 of its 32 points in the paint on the way to a 15-point, 32-15 lead.
Carroll never led in the game as the Eagles’ Janis Peterson posted the first bucket to make it a 2-0 lead.
The Fighting Saints tied the game at three and five early, but began to fall behind after Cassidy Hashley’s basket in the paint at the 15:52 mark. It was at this point that Concordia began to pull away.
The Eagles mounted a 17-4 run capped-off by a layup by Peterson to give her team an 18-7 advantage with 9:12 remaining.
Peterson, the senior from San Francisco, Calif., recorded 14 points in the first half and led all scorers in opening frame.
The Fighting Saints began to eat into the Concordia lead in the final half, but the Eagles maintained their composure and pulled away in the final minutes.
Carroll pulled to within seven on back-to-back free throws by Cassidy Hashley, but the Eagles answered with a 19-9 run and took control.
Hashley led the Fighting Saints with a double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds) in the game.
Brittany Stafford also collected a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles. Jasmine Crawford led the team with 20 points.
With the win, the Eagles will advance to the round of 16 on Friday at 9:45 p.m. to face No. 2-seed Bethel.