SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) The fans in attendance at the Tyson Events Center saw top-seed Saint Xavier (Ill.) turn out the lights on the first round of the 2015 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by State Farm, with a runaway 79-50 thrashing of No. 8 Oregon Tech Thursday night.
The Cougars took control of this game from the get-go, as they seemed like a team on a mission to march their way into the second round on Friday night. An offensive clinic took place in the opening 20 minutes of the game, as Saint Xavier had seven players score at least two points, including three athletes hitting the 8-plus point mark.
The balanced play of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season champions was evident in the 13 assists on 20 buckets made in the first half – which helped the Cougars explode to a 48-23 lead at the break.
The Huslin’ Owls tried their hardest to fight back, but could not recover from such a huge deficit. Oregon Tech record three players in double-figures, led by Karly LeVeque who gathered 13 points.
Even in defeat, 11 Oregon Tech players found themselves on the score sheet late Thursday night. Head coach Scott Meredith’s group ends the year at 23-11, and fell to 0-3 in opening-round national championship showings.
A foursome of Saint Xavier players hit double-figures – with a career-high 17 points from Caitlin McMahon leading the way. She was followed by 15 from Kara Krolicki, 13 from Morgan Stuut and 11 points from Mikayla Leyden. Stuut also downed 11 missed shots on her way to her 22nd double-double of the season.
The Cougars (30-3) now look ahead to a rematch with College of the Ozarks (Mo.) tomorrow night at 8:45 p.m. Saint Xavier fell to the Bobcats 68-43 in the opening round of last season’s national championship in the first round.