No. 8 Roosevelt fends off upset-minded No. 22 Friends

No. 8 Roosevelt fends off upset-minded No. 22 Friends

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - (Box Score) Seventh-seeded Friends (Kan.) pushed the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference champion to the limit, but fell short in its bid to upset second-seeded Roosevelt (Ill.). The Lakers, formerly of NAIA Division I, won Wednesday's first-round battle at the 2013 State Farm-NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championships, 57-52.

Eighth-ranked Roosevelt led by as many as 10 points at the 14:52 mark of the second half, but did not seal the game until Becky Williford's pair of free three throws with three seconds remaining provided the final tallies. The Lakers dug down defensively when Friends had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead in the final two minutes, forcing an Abril Marshall miss.

The Falcons, who picked up their first-ever national tournament win last season, out-rebounded Roosevelt 57-39 but shot just 23.1 percent from the field and 15.0 percent from 3-point range. The Lakers' stingy defensive effort allowed them to win for the first time in school history at the Tyson Events Center.

Roosevelt star guard Casey Davis, the team's leading scorer with an average of 17.0 points per game entering the tournament, provided offense on an evening when points were tough to come by. Davis made 6 of 13 shots on the way to a game high 19 points. Williford (12) and Maria Tamburrino (10) joined Davis in double-figure scoring for the victors.

Friends got a double-double from Sarah Munds (12 points, 10 rebounds) and 15 points from Tina Fakahafua (9-for-12 free throw shooting). The Falcons end their season at 23-10.

Roosevelt moves on to play Bethel (26-7) at 3:30 p.m. on Friday in a second-round tussle. Bethel defeated Valley City State 79-63 in an afternoon contest on Wednesday.

Championship Information

NAIA DII Women's Basketball Championship

March 11-17, 2020
Tyson Events Center 
Sioux City, Iowa