NAIA DI Women’s Basketball Fab Four Preview
March 19, 2012
FRANKFORT, Ky. – (Bracket; Scoreboard; Stats) And then there were four. After 28 games spanning four days, Oklahoma City, Lubbock Christian (Texas), Georgetown (Ky.) and Union (Tenn.) are the only four squads still standing at the 2012 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship presented by Kentuckytourism.com. The event is being held at the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky.
Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) foes Oklahoma City and Lubbock Christian kick off the Fab Four at 6 p.m. EDT with Georgetown and Union to follow at 8 p.m. The two victors will play for the championship at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in a game that will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.
No. 1-ranked in the final Coaches’ Poll, Oklahoma City has rolled through the first three rounds of the championship and extended its current win streak to a season-high 19 games, defeating opponents by an average margin of 21.3 points. The Stars enter the matchup with the Lady Chaparrals with an 8-2 all-time record in the national semifinals with their last victory coming in 2005 (81-75 vs. Vanguard (Calf.)). Oklahoma City is vying for its sixth national championship in program history.
Unlike their SAC opponents, the Lady Chaparrals are making their second appearance in the Fab Four – the first since 2006. Lubbock Christian has won nine of its last 10 contests with the only loss coming to Southern Nazarene (Okla.) in the semifinals of the SAC Tournament. Throughout the National Championship, the Lady Chaparrals have showcased a balanced offensive attack that features four individuals in double-figures. Brittany Roberts leads the quartet at 18.7 points per game, while Kelsey Canavan averages a double-double with 15 points and 11.7 rebounds per contest. Lubbock Christian is the only team that has beaten Oklahoma City this season, claiming an 88-66 road victory on Jan. 12.
Perennial powerhouse program, Union is making its eighth-straight appearance in the Fab Four and owns a three-game win streak in the round. Similarly to Oklahoma City, the Lady Bulldogs are seeking a sixth national crown in their tournament-record 23rd appearance. Union, who boasts a playoff-best 66 tournament victories, is led by 2011 All-American Lavanda Ross. Ross is averaging 18.3 points and 9.7 rebounds in three tournament games, including a playoff-high 25-point effort in the Lady Bulldogs first round win against Lindsey Wilson (Ky.).
Arguably the biggest underdog in this year’s Fab Four, Georgetown is making its first-ever appearance in the national semifinals following a 70-63 win against Rogers State (Okla.) on March 17. Additionally, the Tigers are only the second Mid-South Conference program to reach the round of four. Georgetown has been led by the play of Angie Lawrence, who has scored a team-high 52 points in three games after only scoring a total of 75 points during the regular-season. Her tournament is highlighted by a career-high 27 points against the Hillcats.
General admission tickets can be purchased at the convention center for $10.
NeuLion is the NAIA’s digital media partner and official video-streaming company of 10 select NAIA National Championship events. The Fab Four can be purchased for $9.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.
For additional information, including an updated bracket and scoreboard, on the 32nd annual NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship presented by Kentuckytourism.com, click here.