Pikeville Outlasts Wayland Baptist to Advance to the Second Round
By Scott Barker, Communication and Sports Information Intern
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – (Box Score | Bracket) Game one featured No. 6-seed Pikeville (Ky.) knocking off No. 3-seed Wayland Baptist (Texas), 70-65, in day two of first round action at the 2016 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship. The 36th annual event is taking place at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena for the second-straight year.
“We knew the whole time that this was going to be a game of runs,” said Pikeville head coach Joanna McNamee. “They were a really good team and when they made that second run, I thought our team showed a lot of perseverance to not fold and prove that they belong here. I thought it was a great game. It was fun.”
Wayland Baptist was able to get out to a quick five-point lead as a 3-point shot by Laura Castillo gave the Bears a 5-0 advantage 90 seconds into the game. The Flying Queens held the lead throughout the first quarter, including a 13-11 advantage at the first intermission.
In the second quarter, Pikeville tieed the game at 18 on a free throw by Shayla Monreal with 6:47 remaining in the first half. The Bears claimed their first lead of the game when Kelah Eldrige slipped through the Wayland Baptist defense for an easy layup. The two teams traded baskets before a Kandice Porter 2-pointer propelled Pikeville a 26-24 advantage at the half. The second quarter consisted of two ties and three lead changes.
The Bears started the second half on an 8-1 run to push their lead to nine – 34-25 – with 7:52 remaining in the period. They extended the advantage to a game-high 15 points (44-29) on a free throw by Rachel Lee with 4:02 left.
The Flying Queens came out in the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run to tie the game at 54 with 7:38 remaining and regained the lead (55-54) moments later on a free throw by Shawna Monreal. Wayland Baptist increased its lead to three twice throughout the period, but could not put the Bears away. Pikeville ended the game on a 9-4 run en route to the win.
Pikeville (24-8), which was previously 0-3 in three trips to the event, earned its first win at the championship. Wayland Baptist (25-5) falls to 25-23 in 23 appearances at the tournament. The Flying Queens have now lost five-straight games in the first round.
Pikeville, which lost to eventual champion Shawnee State (Ohio) in the Mid-South Conference semifinals, is now 4-4 following a loss this season. The Bears become the second No. 6-seed to punch a ticket to the second round. Last season no No. 6 seeded team won in the first round.
Parisha Rogers led the Bears with a game-high and season-high 17 points. Rogers also added five rebounds in the win. She was joined in double figures by Kelah Eldridge, who scored 15 points, and Kandice Porter and Aundrea Matchen who tallied 14 points each.
The Flying Queens, who rank second behind Campbellsville (Ky.) for the most championship appearances with 23, saw its 21-game win streak snapped. The last loss for Wayland Baptist came against NCAA Division II Texas Woman’s, 61-41, on Dec. 15. During that stretch the Flying Queens average margin of victory was 25.3 points per game. Only one game (Jan. 30 vs. Southwestern Christian (Okla.)) was decided by 10 points-or-less.
Wayland Baptist was led in scoring by Shayla Monreal’s 16 points. Stephanie Afungo tallied her seventh double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Shawna Monreal added 11 points.
Pikeville, ranked No. 2 in the NAIA in points per game (82.8) entering the championship, shot 41 percent (24-of-58) for the game and 31 percent (5-of-16) from downtown. The Bears scored 27 points off 23 Wayland Baptist turnovers – the tenth game this season the Flying Queens turned the ball over 10-or-more times.
Wayland Baptist, which entered the game No. 5 in the NAIA in field goal percentage (44.9 percent), was held to a 36 percent (22-of-60) shooting performance from the field and only converted 18.8 percent (3-of-16) of attempts from behind the 3-point arc.
Pikeville advances to the second round and will face either No. 2-seed Vanguard (Calif.) or No. 7-seed Auburn-Montgomery (Ala.) on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CDT.