Benedictine Topples Top-seeded Our Lady of the Lake
By Scott Barker, Communications and Sports Information Intern
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – (Box Score | Bracket) Benedictine (Kan.) upset overall No. 1-seed Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), 71-63, Friday in the second round of the 2016 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship. The event is being held at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena for the second consecutive year.
"Give them a lot of credit, the ladies played with a lot of confidence and composure and that was a key at the end of the last game and big key throughout this game,” said head coach Chad Folsom “We knew that we were going to get pressure the entire game and I thought that the ladies handled that, showed great composure to make the passes we needed to make and hit the shots that we needed to hit.
The first quarter saw the two teams combine for four ties and five lead changes. Our Lady of the Lake, Red River Athletic Conference tournament champion, held the biggest lead of the frame at four (20-16) at the end of the period.
Kristen Murphy’s bucket with 3:48 left in the half, sparked a 14-6 Raven run to conclude the half and give Benedictine the 36-30 advantage. The Ravens outrebounded Our Lady of the Lake, 24-13, in the first half and outscored the Saints 7-2 at the free throw line.
"We knew they were a really good offensive rebounding team and one of the top in the country. We knew we'd have to box out and I thought that our ladies did a great job throughout of boxing them out. We knew we couldn't let them get a second shot and we did a good job of that all game long."
Benedictine, now 1-2 all-time in the second round, pushed its lead to double figures (44-34) on a 3-pointer by Chayla Rutledge hallway through the third. The Saints would answer with a 9-3 run to come within three (46-43), before trailing by two (49-47) heading into the final quarter.
In the last frame, the teams combined for two ties and four lead changes. The Ravens were down one when Jordan Kramer drilled a 3-point shot to give Benedictine the two-point advantage. The Ravens never trailed again in the game.
Our Lady of the Lake was led by Taylor Hamilton, who scored a 21 points. Sonji Green and Alyssa Ward scored 14 and 11 points, respectively. Green added 10 rebounds for her tenth double-double of the season.
Kristen Murphy led the Ravens with a game-high 24 points and game-high 11 boards, good for her second double-double of the season. Jordan Kramer added 15 points and five assists, while LaRanda Thomas put in 10 points.
Our Lady of the Lake had won its previous 30 games before dropping this match.
Benedictine moves to 2-0 in the championship against teams from Red River Athletic Conference - defeated Wiley (Texas). 63-61, in the 2015 first round.
Benedictine is now No. 1 in the NAIA with 284 made 3-pointers.
The Ravens advance to the quarterfinals and will take on No. 2-seed Campbellsville (Ky.) who defeated The Master’s (Calif.) 62-55.