FERRUM, Va. -- Ferrum won its first NCAA Division III tournament game in four tries with Friday's 73-70 first-round win against Capital in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,050 fans. Kylene Culler set a new NCAA Div. III tournament record with 24 rebounds, and added 11 points and six assists.
The Panthers jumped out to a 6-0 lead two minutes into the game, only to see the Crusaders go on a 24-8 run and grab a 24-14 lead at 6:39 of the first half. Coach Bryan Harvey's team responded with a 22-3 run to close out the first half and take a 36-27 lead into the locker room.
Both teams played well to open the second half with Ferrum clinging to a 51-50 lead after a Katy Kipps layup at 8:56. Kipps hit another layup on Ferrum's next possession, then added a pair of free throws and Ferrum led 55-50 with 6:06 remaining. Kristen Thompson converted a layup and Simmone Gage hit two free throws as Capital cut the lead to 55-54 at 5:24.
After another Kipps layup, Jamie Caton made a layup for Capital and the score was 57-56 Ferrum with 4:27 left to play. The Crusaders were able to surge out in front 60-57 when Caton made a pair of baskets. Kayla Goins, who stepped into Ferrum's point guard role after starter Shea Smith fouled out and few minutes earlier, drilled a 3-pointer and the game was tied at 60-60 with 3:03 showing on the clock.
Caton made one of two free throws to put Capital back out in front but Jacole Hairston made two free throws at 2:02 to give Ferrum a 62-61 lead. Nina Napolitano's layup but Capital back in front for the last time at 63-62 with 1:10 left in regulation. Hairston then made a layup, followed by a pair of Culler free throws to give Ferrum a 66-63 lead with 28 seconds left. Caton came back down the other end and hit a jumper to make it a one-point game at 0:19. Goins was money at the line down the stretch, going 4-for-4 in free throws to help seal the win.
Kipps led Ferum in scoring with 18 points, while Jacole Hairston had 17 points to go with nine rebounds. Goins added 13 points, including three 3-pointers for the Panthers (27-2).
Caton scored her 1,000th career point for Capital, closing with a game-high 25 points. Cookie Geroski had 11 points and Gage had 10 in the season-ending loss for the Crusaders (19-9).
The Panthers lost in the first round in each of its previous trips to the postseason (1995, 2012, 2013).