Delta State grinds out victory
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Fourth-ranked Delta State used a familiar formula - defense, rebounding and Veronica Walker - to grind out a 56-47 win against the North Alabama Lions on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament South Regional at Tucker Coliseum.
The Lady Statesmen (27-3), seeded No. 2 in the NCAA South Regional, advance to face Florida Southern in the NCAA Division II Tournament South Regional semifinals at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Delta State held seventh-seeded North Alabama to 41 percent (19-of-46) shooting from the field and the Lady Statesmen finished with a 39-25 rebounding edge.
The Lady Statesmen grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and finished with a 17-3 advantage in second-chance points to advance to a meeting in Saturday's semifinals against 21st-ranked Florida Southern.
Walker, who is a two-time GSC West Division Player of the Year, scored 20 points and collected 15 rebounds for the Lady Statesmen. The All-American was 7-of-15 from the field and 6-of-7 at the free-throw line.
Brooke Rhodes added 10 points for Delta State, which advanced to the regional semifinals for a sixth consecutive season.
Niala Harris (13 points), Courtnei Bowens (12 points) and Sanqueeta Meardith (11 points) all reached double figures in scoring for North Alabama, who finished the season with a 21-7 record.