SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) The Cougars from Saint Xavier (Ill.) are the final team to advance to the semifinals in the 2018 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship tournament. They took down Hastings (Neb.) to capture a return to the semifinals for the second-straight year by a final of 72-62. Collin’s first half double-double and Krolicki’s consistent elite level play moved the Cougars to the semifinal matchup.
- The final quarterfinal matchup of the 2018 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship tournament had Saint Xavier against Hastings. Both teams breezed through the first two rounds to make it to this point.
- Saint Xavier looked unstoppable in their first two games. They defeated Tabor (Kan.) by a score of 67-47 in the first round. They moved on to defeat hometown Morningside (Iowa) 84-71 to make it to the quarterfinals.
- The Broncos had to defeat Lawrence Tech (Mich.) in the first round, coming out on top 57-49. In the second round, the Broncos took down the back-to-back reigning champs Marian (Ind.) by a final of 62-45.
- The first quarter was close the whole way. Neither team garnered more than a four point lead, but Saint Xavier led the way most of the quarter. Brittany Collins shined in the first, picking up eight points and five rebounds in just the first quarter. Saint Xavier took a two point lead heading into the second, up 17-15.
- As the second rolled around, the Cougars came out red hot, going on an 11-3 run to begin the second. The Saint Xavier defense gave up no points in the first five minutes of the half, which paved the way for the run. Bringing the lead up to 10 with 3:28 remaining on a midrange jumper by Maddie Walter, the Broncos called a timeout. The Cougars would hold the Broncos to just four points in the second quarter, while scoring 16 for themselves. This brought about a 14 point Cougar lead heading into halftime. Brittany Collins continued to dominate, gathering a double-double in the first half with 11 point and 10 rebounds.
- Krolicki again exploded in one quarter of a game. This time, it was the third. The senior guard dropped 13 points and tacked on two more assists to help build the Cougar lead to 16 at the end of the quarter. The Broncos made up for their poor first half shooting by going 8-19 in the third. But overall, it was the Cougars continuing to shoot well, shooting 50 percent in the third to build their lead by two, ending the quarter leading 58-42.
- The fourth quarter kept the teams stagnant for most of the quarter, with Saint Xavier maintaining their double-digit lead through the rest of the game. The final has Saint Xavier defeating Hastings by a score of 72-62.
- Krolicki finished another stellar day with 18 points and seven assists. Brittan Collins added to her first half by finishing with 15 rebounds and tying Kara Krolicki for the game-high 18 points.
- Saint Xavier now looks to make it their second-straight national championship game. The matchup is set, as The Cougars will take on Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) on Monday, March 12th at 6:00 P.M. to see who will make to the championship game.