March 17, 2009
Sioux City, Iowa - (Final Bracket) Morningside's seventh trip to the NAIA Division II Women's National Basketball Tournament ended with a win over Great Plains Athletic Conference rival Hastings College in the national title game at the Tyson Event Center in Sioux City, Iowa on Tuesday, March 17 by a 68-63 win.
The Mustangs started quickly and took a 21-8 lead with 11:58 left to go in the first half on a Brittany Williamson basket. Hastings started to chip away at the lead immediately and made it all the way to within one at 25-24 on a Kay Broekemeier three-point basket with 5:49 left in the half. The Mustangs responded with an eight point run to go up 33-24 and were ahead 39-30 when the half came to a close.
The Mustangs took the first half lead while making 51.7 percent of their shots and they held an 18-12 rebounding advantage.
The Hastings Broncos, an at-large bid recipient to get into the tournament, answered the bell in the second half and built a 50-44 lead in the first eight minutes of the second half. The Mustangs countered with a four point run on a free throw by Dani Gass and a conventional three-point play by Roni Miler with 11:05 left in the game.
The two teams tied at 52-52 on a pair of free throws by Tournament MVP, Autumn Bartel, and they took the lead for good on free throws by NAIA Division II Player of the Year Dani Gass. The Mustangs kept the Broncos at arm's length the rest of the way, never allowing Hastings within three in the closing minutes. Free throws by Roni Miller cinched the win with 00:06 making it a perfect 38-0 season for the Mustangs.
Morningside ended the game with 22-52 shooting for 42.3 percent and they were 17-21 on free throws. The Broncos were 24-56 from the floor for 42.9 percent and they made 7-10 free throws. Both teams committed 16 turnovers and Morningside claimed a 36-30 rebounding advantage.
Dani Gass had 24 points to lead the Mustangs with 12 rebounds, three rebounds and three assists. Leslie Foral had 14 points and four steals and Roni Miller came off the bench to score 11.
Lindsay Ducey had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Broncos who close their season with a 28-8 mark. Kay Broekemeier ended with 14 points and Kim Faimon chipped in with 12 and she had five assists and six steals.
This is the third NAIA National Championship for Morningside College. The Mustangs also claimed the title in 2004 and 2005. Morningside and Hastings have won six of the last eight NAIA Division II Women's National Basketball Championships.
All-Tournament First Team
Autumn Bartel (Morningside) Most Valuable Player
Lindsey Ducey (Hastings)
Dani Gass (Morningside)
Randa Hulstein (Northwestern)
Becca Hurley (Northwestern)
All-Tournament Second Team
Lindsy Murry (Ozarks)
Whitney Stichka (Concordia-Neb.)
Kayli Combs (Ozarks)
Kim Faimon (Hastings) Hustle Award
Kia Herbel (Dickinson State)
NAIA Division II Coach of the Year - Jamie Sale, Morningside