SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score)
• An at-large qualifier out of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, Northwestern (23-8) pushed its all-time record on the national stage to 48-10. Head coach Chris Yaw led the program to its fifth all-time national title in 2012.
• Meanwhile, head coach Nicole Midder’s squad ended its season at 24-9 overall while making the 10th national championships appearance in school history. The Falcons are 2-10 all-time at the national championships.
• The Red Raiders built a 37-26 halftime advantage spurred by an 11-2 run to open up the second quarter. During which, four different Northwestern players registered in the scoring column. The blitz began with a steal and transition basket by Renee Maneman.
• Friends got a team-high 19 points from senior guard Yowana Posey and Makenzie Vining (seven rebounds). Betty Akathioutou (13 points, five assists, five rebounds) joined them in double figures.
• Northwestern escaped with a victory despite committing 26 turnovers to the Falcons’ 14. On the other hand, the Red Raiders held significant advantages in shooting percentage (48.1 to 38.2), rebounding (46-33) and free throw shooting (29/38 to 11/12).
• Friends cut its deficit all the way down to three (77-74) in the final seconds when Vining emerged with a three-point play. Northwestern made all four of its free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
The Red Raiders will play in the second round at 3:30 p.m. on Friday against the winner between second-seeded Eastern Oregon and seventh-seeded Reinhardt (Ga.).