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Northwestern Wins Division II Women's Basketball National Championship

March 17, 2010
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March 17, 2010

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - (Final Bracket) Northwestern (Iowa) won its third State Farm-NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship, defeating Shawnee State (Ohio) 85-66 at the 19th annual event Tuesday in the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena. The Red Raiders close out their season with a record of 31-5, while Shawnee State's season record closes out at 29-7.

"We are very fortunate at Northwestern," head coach Earl Woudstra said. "We have great academics and a great program to attract quality women and student-athletes. I feel blessed to represent Northwestern and these ladies truly represent the core values of the NAIA's Champions of Character program. When you have great individuals like that on your team, it makes coaching easy."

The title is the third for the veteran coach in four national championship game appearances since 2000, winning it all in 2001 and 2008. In those nine years, Woudstra's teams have combined for a 29-6 record.

"Some of these girls were on the roster in 2008 and had a chance to play," Woudstra said. "We have a great alumni tradition that gets passed down through our team and those alumni are always encouraging our players through emails, text messages and phone calls. We have a great basketball tradition between both our men's and women's teams at Northwestern and I am very happy to be a part of it."

Woudstra was named the 2010 Phyllis Holmes Coach of the Year following the game for the third time in his career. He also earned the distinction in 2001 and 2008.

Northwestern finished the championship by breaking the record for the most points scored with 457 and tied the most field goals made with 163 (330 attempts). The Red Raiders averaged 91.4 points through five games, knocking down 49.4 percent of their shots, including a 47.1 percentage from behind the 3-point line.

Randa Hulstein broke the all-time rebounding record in the semifinals and added 10 more boards to it on Tuesday, putting the record at 157. She averaged 9.8 rebounds over 16 career games at the national championship in her four-year career.

Kami Kuhlmann hit a pair of free throws to open the game and give Northwestern the early lead. Shawnee State kept the gap under 10 until the 11:29 mark in the first half and worked to get it back under 10 with seven minutes to go in the opening half. The Red Raiders hit four jumpers and a pair of 3-point shots to push their lead to 19 heading into the break. Hurley led all-scorers at halftime with 18 points, hitting 7-of-14 field goal attempts, including three triples.

Shawnee State struggled to find its stride, converting only nine shots on 32 tries and was a mere 4-of-15 from long range. The Bears also had seven first-half turnovers.

Northwestern's offense did not let up to start the second half, pushing the lead to as many as 34 midway through the stanza. The lead was narrowed to 21 by Jill Cropper's two converted free throws, but Shawnee State could not get any closer as time ticked away.

For the second night in a row, all five Red Raider starters were double-figure scorers. Hurley finished the game with 23 points on 9-of-21 from the field and 3-of-6 from behind the arc, and also dished out seven assists. Her play earned her Most Valuable Player honors. Hulstein had a 14 point, 10 rebound showing in her final game in a Northwestern jersey. Val Kleinjan had 14 points, Kendra DeJong registered a dozen and Kami Kuhlmann contributed 11.

Northwestern shot 43.5 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent from the 3-point line. Play down low was all Red Raiders, out-rebounding the Bears 50-41 and out-scoring Shawnee State 30-16 in the paint.

Three Bears finished with double figures, led by senior Mallory Albers' 16 points. She also pulled down a team-best eight rebounds. Cropper had 14 points and Alison Meyer, who was also playing in her final game, added 10 points.

All-Tournament Team

First Team
Elaine Hessel, Indiana Wesleyan
Randa Hulstein, Northwestern (Iowa)
Mallory Albers, Shawnee State (Ohio)
Liz Grider, Briar Cliff (Iowa)
Becca Hurley, Northwestern (Iowa)

Second Team
Jennifer Jorgensen, Grand View (Iowa)
Michelle Stelloh, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)
Morgan Brown, Briar Cliff (Iowa)
Alison Meyer, Shawnee State (Ohio)
Kendra DeJong, Northwestern (Iowa)

Phyllis Holmes Coach of the Year
Earl Woudstra, Northwestern (Iowa)

Most Valuable Player

Becca Hurley, Northwestern (Iowa)

Hustle Award
Mallory Albers, Shawnee State (Ohio)

Cheryl K. Brown Meritorious Service Award
Chris Varney