March 09, 2012
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SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) Mount Mercy (Iowa) celebrated its first national tournament victory since 1995 on Thursday, then added an exclamation point by beating hometown Morningside (Iowa) on Friday. Powered by 20 points and 12 rebounds from Bria Fields, Mount Mercy staked a 79-72 second-round victory at the State Farm-NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship.
In a battle of teams nicknamed the Mustangs, Morningside’s shooting struggles continued to plague it. Star guard Chelsie Trask dropped a game-high 26 points, but she made only 2-of-11 attempts from beyond the arc. As a team, Morningside shot 32.4 percent from the field, 11-for-40 (27.5 percent) from beyond the arc and committed 22 turnovers.
A quartet of Mount Mercy standouts registered 13 points or more, including Fields. Brooke Quigley and Emily Greiner each piled up 14 points, while Micha Mims tallied 13. Amanda Frost contributed six points and 10 rebounds off the bench for a Mount Mercy team that was dismantled, 95-64, by Morningside back on Nov. 5.
Morningside held the lead as late the 15:29 mark of the second half when Trask’s bucket in the lane made it 43-42. Mims responded with a pair of free throws and with 13:08 left and Mount Mercy retained the lead the rest of the way. Trask kept hopes alive with another bucket with 1:32 remaining that cut the deficit to four, but Fields powered home another two-pointer with 1:08 to dash Morningside’s hopes.
Mount Mercy (27-8) will shift its focus to Briar Cliff (Iowa) in Saturday’s 6 p.m. quarterfinal matchup. Briar Cliff upset fourth-ranked Davenport (Mich.) earlier on Thursday.