March 21, 2008
By NAIA National Office
March 21, 2008
JACKSON, Tenn. - The 28th Annual NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championship completed round one at Oman Arena Thursday. Six of the eight games saw the higher seeds advanced to the second round. However, two No. 3 seeds were eliminated as seven-time national champions Southern Nazarene (Okla.) lost to Trevecca Nazarene and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) fell to first year participant Wiley (Texas).
Of the 16 teams that won in the first round, five schools made the list of teams to recorded their first ever national tournament victories. The list includes Harris-Stowe State (Mo.), Lee (Tenn.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Loyola (La.), and Wiley (Texas).
The field of 16 teams contains three of the four No. 1 seeds, including the tournament's top seed, Union (Tenn.) University. Oklahoma City is the lone No. 1 seed who failed to make the second round in this year's tournament.
Day two of the tournament drew a total attendance of 3,887, with 2,486 coming during the evening session. This brings the two-day attendance total to 7,871.The second round, featuring eight games, will begin at 9:00 am on Friday, March 21.
Game 9: Five players scored in double figures to lead the sixth-seeded Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) University Trojans to an 85-56 victory over third-seeded Southern Nazarene (Okla.) University Crimson Storm. Senior guard Mariska Reed scored 14 of her game-high 17 points in the first half, leading Trevecca Nazarene to a 46-25 halftime lead. Southern Nazarene was held to a 24 percent (15-for-62) shooting effort from the field, and no Crimson Storm players finished in double figures. The win is the fourth consecutive first-round victory for Trevecca Nazarene, which improves to 20-11 on the season, while Southern Nazarene finishes the season 25-7 overall.
Game 10: The second-seeded Langston (Okla.) University Lady Lions used a 14-2 run midway through the second half to take the lead for good in a 75-68 victory over the seventh-seeded Berry (Ga.) College. The Lady Lions, who extended their current winning streak to 27 games, were led by senior forward Jamie Skinner's 21-point, 12-rebound double-double, both of which were game-highs. Skinner also recorded three blocked shots. The victory is Langston's second consecutive first-round win, after it advanced to last year's national quarterfinals.
Game 11: Fourth-seeded Loyola (La.) University New Orleans led by as many as 25 points before wrapping up a 73-64 first-round win over Westminster (Utah) College. Sophomore guard Trenell Smith scored a tournament-high 28 points, including three of Loyola's 10 three-pointers in the game. Loyola turned a 10-7 lead with 13:23 left in the opening half into a 29-13 advantage over the next five minutes. Loyola, making its third appearance in the past four seasons, picks up its first national tournament victory in program history.
Game 12: Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) University used a 42-point second half to post a 60-41 win over No. 8 seed Robert Morris (Ill.) College. After a very low scoring first half for both teams, Point Loma Nazarene (29-2) outscored Robert Morris 42-26 in the second half to pull away for the win. The first half proved to be a poor shooting exhibition from both teams. Point Loma Nazarene shot just 18-percent from the field and made just one three pointer, while Robert Morris didn't fair much better with 24-percent from the field and 0-of-7 from three-point range.
In the second half, Point Loma Nazarene found the offense that helped them earn their No. 1 seed as the Sea Lions began to build a lead. Point Loma Nazarene held a 27-point lead once more, 56-29, with 3:57 left in the game before coasting to the 60-41 final
Game 13: Vanugard (Calif.) University led wire-to-wire in their 75-62 opening round win over the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.). Vanguard started the game with a 17-4 run, including the games first 12 points, and never looked back as the Lions improved to 25-5 on the season. They held an 11-point advantage at the half, before stretching the lead to as many as 24 points, 69-45, with 4:36 left in the game. Vanguard's inside presence posted 40 points in the paint, and also produced 28 trips to the free-throw line, where the Lions were good for 20 makes. They also were an efficient 3-of-8 from behind the three-point arc. Cumberlands shot 29 of their 60 field goal attempts from behind the arc, but only were able to convert eight times for just 27-percent. The Patriots also make just one trip to the free-throw line in the game (0-2).
Game 14: Third-seeded Lambuth (Tenn.) University opened its bid to defend its national crown with a 73-56 victory over sixth-seeded Xavier University of Louisiana. Lambuth jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first 75 seconds, part of a 25-8 run to start the game, and the Eagles maintained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game. Lambuth owns the NAIA's longest current national tournament winning streak with wins in six consecutive games.
Game 15: Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) University, a No. 2 seed, held off No. 7 seed Georgetown (Ky.) College 68-61 to advance to the second round. Jana Cross and Tara Deathridge led FHU's Lady Lions with 23 and 17 points respectively, including a combined 22 points in the second half. No other Lady Lion posted over seven points. Neither team could find the range from the field in the first half as both teams posted shooting percentages in the mid-30's. However, the Lady Lions were able to connect on 3-of-5 three pointers, while Georgetown went 0-of-9 from behind the arc. FHU walked away with the 68-61 win.
Game 16: Wiley (Texas) College became the second 6-seed in the tournament to advance to the second round as they knocked off No. 3 seed Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 69-63. The win also marked the first national tournament win for Wiley in their first tournament appearance. In the second half, Wiley extended their lead to five points on several occasions. Azusa Pacific was able to keep the Wildcats within reach and managed to tie the game twice in the second half, with the latest coming 40-40 with 12:42 left. Wiley regained the lead for good as they pushed the margin out to as many as nine points, 69-60 win nine seconds left. A late three pointer from Azusa Pacific's Sarah Leathers put the final score at 69-63.
A leader in the development of student-athletes, the NAIA is committed to changing the culture of sport through Champions of Character. Founded in 1937, the NAIA continues to be a pioneer in implementing exceptional standards for academics, diversity, and character. Today, the NAIA sponsors 23 collegiate championships in 13 sports for its nearly 300 member institutions throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more about the NAIA visit www.naia.org.