Westmont (Calif.) Avoids Upset, Beats Cumberland (Tenn)
Billings, Mont. – [BOX SCORE] Westmont’s (Calif.) Lauren McCoy’s season-high 26 points and Joy Krupa’s clutch offensive rebounding led the Warriors past upset-minded eight-seed Cumberland (Tenn.) in the opening round of the 2018 NAIA DI Women’s Basketball Championships presented by Wells Fargo.
Out of the nine rebounds Joy Krupa corralled, none were bigger than the two offensive boards she snagged in the final seconds which allowed the Warriors to close out the Phoenix of Cumberland University.
With the Warriors clinging to a 3 point lead Krupa grabbed a loose ball off a 3-point miss with 18 seconds remaining and dished the ball to McCoy, who was then fouled. McCoy hit her first free-throw to give Westmont a two-possession lead. Krupa then rebounded the missed free throw and made her own attempts to secure the victory.
The game unfolded exactly as you would expect on paper. All season the Warriors have played tough defense. They boast the nation’s second-best scoring defense, holding opponents to just 50 points a game and shooting 33 percent from the floor. Today was no different, as the Phoenix shot 33 percent from the floor and scored just 51 points. The Phoenix
Cumberland connected on 11 3-point field goals, keeping the game close and the dream of an upset intact. Kyra Tucker was 4-7 from behind the arc for a team-high 15 points.
Westmont senior Lauren McCoy countered the potent long-range shooting of the Phoenix by dominating the paint. She would end any doubt of an early exit by the Warriors by recording her eighth double-double of the season in the first half alone with 16 points and 11 boards. She finished the game with 26 points and 15 rebounds to pace the Westmont offense.
Westmont advances to the second round for the fourth consecutive year. They will face five-seed Loyola (La.) on Friday at 4:30 p.m.