SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) Saint Xavier (Ill.) defeated Morningside (Iowa) in the last game of the second round in the 2018 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship. Kara Krolicki was the star of the game after recording an all-around impressive stat line as the Cougars won by a score of 84-71.
- The Cougars started out the game on fire, starting with an 8-0 in the first minute and a half. Throughout the first quarter, the Cougars would drop 10 made buckets, shooting 56 percent. Kara Krolicki had the quarter of the tournament so far. The senior went 5-5 from the field and 4-4 from the line for a total of 14 points. She tacked on two rebounds and a steal to top it all off. The Mustangs shot 50 percent from three, but were outshot as the Cougars had seven made threes in the first quarter. The buzzer sounded, Saint Xavier lead by nine with a score of 27-18.
- Increasing the lead to 15 to start the second, The Cougars were securely in the lead when Morningside called a timeout with 6:20 left in the second. The story of the first half is the Cougars 3-point shooting. Shooting 50 percent, Saint Xavier made 9 3’s. Krolicki added four more to bring her half total to 18 as the leader of the game and the only player with 10 points in the first half for either squad. Nine different players shared a piece of the scoring for the Mustangs in the first half, but the Mustangs struggled from the field, only shooting 28 percent and trailing 43-31 going into the second half.
- Opening the third with a 12-0 run, Saint Xavier pulled ahead by 24 before the Mustangs scored their first bucket of the half. But the Mustangs would not quit, pulling within 19 at the end of the third. Finishing the third, the Mustangs still did not have a double-digit scorer. Saint Xavier’s shooting in the game increased to 50 percent.
- The Mustangs found hope at the beginning of the fourth, closing the gap to just 14 points in the first minute of play. The Mustangs reduced that lead to just 10 with under five minutes to play. The lead shrunk again to eight points with an And-1 play from the Mustangs. But the Cougars pulled away to finish the game leading by 13.
- Kara Krolicki treated the court like her own personal field day. The senior guard racked up 24 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and two steals. The guard also shot an incredible 9-11 from the field that included 5-6 from beyond the arc.
- Saint Xavier captured their eighth national tournament win in the win against Morningside. The Cougars will advance to play Hastings (Neb.) in the last game of the quarterfinals tomorrow at 8:00 P.M.