March 14, 2012
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FRANKFORT, Ky. – (Box Score) Avila advances to the second round for the first time in program history, as the Eagles upset Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), 84-82, in double overtime on Wednesday night at the 2012 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship presented by Kentuckytourism.com With the win, Avila improves to 22-9 overall and plays the winner of Georgetown (Ky.)/Vanguard (Calif.) at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
“In the second half we all concentrated more on getting the ball inside, while our zone kept them on the perimeter,” said Avila head coach Larry Williams. “Our kids just believe. I’ve got a great group of young ladies who work hard every game. We’re going to enjoy this win tonight and get ready for the next one tomorrow.”
Cassie Bruner led a balanced Avila attack with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Rebekah Capeder and Victoria Murillo added 19 points each. Brittany Townsend wrapped up the Eagle double-digit scorers with 11 points. Murillo also posted a game-high 10 assists.
Freed-Hardeman controlled the tempo a majority of the first half, taking a 45-32 lead into the break behind a 52.9 percent (18-of-34) success rate from the field. However, the Eagle zone defense frustrated the Lady Lions into only 32.5 percent (13-of-40) in the second half and overtimes.
Avila ended the game shooting 44.9 percent (31-of-69) from the field and 69.6 percent (16-of-23) at the foul line en route to the win.
Natalie Shumpert scored a game-high 32 points to lead the offense for Freed-Hardeman, which sees its season come to an end with an overall record of 28-6. Ashley Tate added 15 points and five assists for the Lady Lions, who were outrebounded 52-42.