No. 5 Shawnee State Downs No. 4 The Master?s, 66-57
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – (Box Score) The No. 5-seeded Bears of Shawnee State (Ohio) improve to 5-0 all-time in first round games, knocking off No. 4 The Master’s (Calif.), 69-57, Wednesday afternoon at the 2015 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City. The 35th annual championship is taking place at the Independence Events Center.
With the win, Shawnee State advance to the second round to play the winner of No. 1 Oklahoma City and No. 8 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) at 10:45 a.m. CDT on Friday.
The Bears never trailed in the contest, expanding its lead to double-digits for the first time in the game, 23-13, with 5:13 left in the opening half after Abby Feuchter connected on a free throw to cap a 3-point play. Shawnee State closed the half with a 36-24 lead and appeared to be in control.
The Mustangs refused to layover in the second half and with approximately eight minutes left pulled within one, 50-49, on a jumper by Whitney Best. Best would finish the game with 12 points and a team-high three assists. However, it would prove to be for not, as another run by Shawnee State put the game out of reach. The Bears outscored The Master’s, 19-8, over the course of the final 7:30.
Shawnee State’s Ashley McMurtrey poured in a game-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including a 3-for-3 effort from long range. The freshman from Louisville, Ky., is now averaging 16.7 points per game in her last three appearances.
Feuchter and Shavon Robinson were the other Bears in double figures with 16 and 17 points, respectively.
Similar to Shawnee State, The Master’s finished the game with three players in double-digits, led by Bianca Cubello’s 14 point effort.
Overall, both teams shot 40 percent-or-better from the field, while Shawnee State held a 33-31 advantage in rebounding.
The Master’s, which has now lost in the first round in three-consecutive seasons, closes the year with a 24-9 record. The Mustangs are now 6-10 all-time at the championship.
Every game of the 2015 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship is available live on the NAIA Network. For packages and pricing visit www.NAIANetwork.com.