Tennessee Wesleyan Rolls in Opening Round of National Championship, 62-45
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) It was a tale of two halves in Wednesday evening’s bout between second-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan and seventh-seed Southeastern (Fla.). The Bulldogs (29-3) avoided yet another upset bid in the opening round of 2015 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by State Farm by pulling away from the Fire, 62-45, at the Tyson Events Center.
Southeastern (25-7) was looking to become the second-consecutive No. 7 seed to upset a No. 2 on the day, and began the game torching the nets from beyond the arc, especially Alyssa Ramos, who hit 3-of-4 from long range in the first half. The offensive display helped the Fire stay have a quick eight-point advantage with 12:46 remaining in the first half.
The fast start quickly wilted as the Bulldogs stepped up the pressure and stormed back to take a 27-25 lead into intermission.
Jenna Adams – who led Tennessee Wesleyan with 13 points and 17 boards – helped fend off the lower seed with suffocating defense in the second half, outscoring the Fire, 35-20, in the final 20 minutes.
After hitting six 3-pointers in the first half, Southeastern was just 2-of-13 from long-range the rest of the way. Despite the defeat, Ramos led all scorers with 14 points, and teammate Carlie Newman notched 13 points and took down eight rebounds.
On the offensive end for Tennessee Wesleyan, a trio of Bulldogs hit double digits at 13 points each – Adams, Shira Buley and Melanie Barker.
The No. 2 seed held a distinct advantage in the paint with Adams leading a 26-12 charge down low, while collecting a 14-point advantage in points off of turnovers.
The Fire’s 2014-15 season comes to a close after losing two-straight. Tennessee Wesleyan matches up against defending national champion Saint Francis (Ind.) on Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the second round.