By Nikki Sherrill, Athletic Communications and Media Intern
Photo provided by Southern Oregon Athletics
NAIA Network Division II Women’s Basketball Game of the Week, presented by Stretch Internet
No. 17 Eastern Oregon (15-2, 8-0 CCC) at No. 4 Southern Oregon (15-1, 8-0 CCC)
Saturday, Jan. 14 | 5:30 p.m. PST | Ashland, Ore.
Live Video – Provided by Southern Oregon
• The 2016-17 season marks the second year for the NAIA Network Division II Women’s Basketball Game of the Week, presented by Stretch Internet. These contests highlight member schools that utilize live Stretch Internet – the NAIA’s video partner for 22-of-23 national championships – as their online video partner. At least one of two schools in the Game of the Week is a Stretch Internet client.
• The NAIA Network (www.NAIANetwork.com) is the official video-streaming portal of the NAIA.
• Battling for top position in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) standings, the two remaining undefeated teams in the conference square off, as No. 4 Southern Oregon hosts No. 17 Eastern Oregon on Saturday.
• With both programs boasting 8-0 marks in the CCC, this game is crucial to see who can pull away. This matchup is the first of the season between the Mountaineers and Raiders, with the next game set for Feb. 10 at Eastern Oregon.
• The Mountaineers appear to have the rebounding factor on their side, as they rank No. 3 in the NAIA in total rebound defense (30.353) and No. 4 in rebound margin (12.2). For the Raiders, they hope to get ahead on the offensive side led by Autumn Durand, who has 287 points to her name and averages 17.9 a game - good for a No. 16 ranking in the league.
• Last season, the two programs split their regular season contests, each being double-digit wins. Southern Oregon, however, made the better run out of the two as they were runner-up in the National Championship when they fell to Marian (Ind.). Eastern Oregon failed to make the tournament last year.
Around NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball
(Through games played on Jan. 10)
• No. 1 St. Francis (Ill.) extended its reign in the top spot of the Top 25 Coaches’ Poll. The Fighting Saints boast a 16-0 unblemished record and are holding the highest ranking in program history this season. Last season, St. Francis was knocked out in the first-round of the NAIA National Championship.
• The Fighting Saints are joined by No. 8 Southeastern (Fla.) as the two undefeated programs left in NAIA DII Women’s Basketball. Southeastern (13-0) is enjoying its best start in program history and its highest ranking in the poll.
• Concordia (Neb.) and Reinhardt (Ga.) boast the most number of wins with 17, while only suffering one loss each.
• Last season’s national champion, Marian (Ind.) is currently No. 5 in the most recent poll. The Knights are 15-3 and 5-1 in the Crossroads League. The red banner in 2016 represents the first-ever title in program history after defeating Southern Oregon, 59-48.
• This week’s National Player of the Week honor went to Rebecca Cheeks of Reinhardt (Ga.). Cheeks ranks No. 6 in the NAIA in total rebounds (179) as well as No. 10 in rebounds per game (9.9) and No. 13 in offensive rebounds per game (3.7). For the complete release, click here.
• Averaging 24.65 points per game, Shann Sellers of Friends (Kan.) is the top scorer at this point in the season. Sellers also leads the league in total points with 419 to her name. On the rebounding side, Megan Klein of Dickinson State (N.D.) leads the charge with an average of 14.93 per game, and 224 on the year.
• Two programs are still searching for their first win of the season.
• This week’s Top 25 matchups:
o Wednesday – RV Midland (Neb.) at No. 2 Concordia (Neb.)
o Wednesday – No. 20 Indiana Tech at No. 6 Davenport (Mich.)
o Wednesday – RV Milligan (Tenn.) at No. 22 Reinhardt (Ga.)
o Thursday – No. 1 St. Francis (Ill.) at No. 23 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)
o Thursday – No. 16 Friends (Kan.) at RV Kansas Wesleyan
o Thursday – No. 17 Eastern Oregon at RV Oregon Tech
o Friday – RV Point Park (Pa.) at No. 21 Indiana East
o Saturday – No. 3 Saint Xavier (Ill.) at No. 15 Purdue Northwest (Ind.)
o Saturday – No. 17 Eastern Oregon at No. 4 Southern Oregon
o Saturday – RV Huntington (Ind.) at No. 5 Marian (Ind.)
o Saturday – RV Keiser (Fla.) at No. 8 Southeastern (Fla.)
• For a complete list of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball statistical leaders, click here.
• Since 1998, Sioux City, Iowa, has been the home of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship. The 26th annual 32-team, single-elimination championship takes place at the Tyson Events Center from March 8-14. For more information on the 2017 national championship, click here.