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basketball-women-d2 flag | March 9, 2014

DII: Late layup, block sends Central Mo. to MIAA final

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A strong defensive stand in the final seconds helped the No. 8 Jennies come out victorious against Fort Hays State, 71-69 in the MIAA tournament semifinals at the Municipal Auditorium on Saturday afternoon.

The victory advances the Jennies (25-3, 17-2 MIAA) to the MIAA tournament champion game for the second consecutive season.

On the last Jennies' possession, Quinnecia Twine found senior Keuna Flax in front of the basket for the game-winning layup with five seconds remaining.

UCM's offense was led by senior Flax, who scored 24 points and added four assists and three steals. Sophomore Shelby Winkelmann added 11 while senior BreAnna Lewis chipped in 10. Junior Revonnia Howard turned in a strong defensive performance, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking four shots, none bigger than the last one in the final seconds, denying a driving Beth Bohuslavsky underneath the basket. Howard grabbed the loose ball as time expired, extending Central Missouri's win streak to 10 games, the longest since the 1995-96 season when it started 15-0.

Howard's four blocks gives her 40 on the season, tying Christie Brown for 10th most in a single season. She is two blocked shots shy of moving into eighth place on the Jennies' single-season list.

The win was the 25th for UCM, the most since the 1989-90 season when they finished 29-3 under head coach Jon Pye. That team went on the win the MIAA tournament.

The Jennies will play Emporia State on Sunday.

No. 2 Harding 81, Arkansas Tech 48

ARTLESVILLE, Okla. -- Second-ranked Harding defeated Arkansas Tech 81-48 in the semifinals of the Great American Conference tournament on Saturday. The Lady Bisons will face Southwestern Oklahoma in the finals on Sunday.

Harding improves to 29-1 on the season and Arkansas Tech ends its season with a 17-11 record.

Harding's 81 points was the most the Lady Bisons have scored in a GAC Tournament game.

The Lady Bisons were led by senior forward Kristen Celsor who had 16 points and 14 rebounds. Celsor made 7 of 11 from the field and 12 of her rebounds were on the defensive end.

Junior guard Shana Holmes had 16 points as she hit four 3-pointers for Harding. Holmes made 6 of 9 from the field.

No. 3 Gannon 57, No. 14 Bloomsburg 51

EDINBORO, Pa. -- Gannon clinched a spot in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championship following a 57-51 win against No. 14 Bloomsburg in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon at the McComb Fieldhouse on the campus of Edinboro. In a rematch of the last season's conference title game, the Lady Knights snapped the Huskies' 17-game win streak. The Western Division second-seed Lady Knights improved to 27-2 overall, while the Eastern Division top-seed Huskies fell to 24-4.

The Lady Knights will square off against the Western Division top-seed and host Fighting Scots on Sunday. The No. 25 Fighting Scots defeated West Chester on Saturday in a high-scoring affair 104-82. The Lady Knights and Fighting Scots will face off for the second time in PSAC Tournament history. En route to their 2010 conference title, the Lady Knights defeated the Fighting Scots in the quarterfinals of the tournament. The Fighting Scots are making their ninth appearance in the PSAC title game, while the Lady Knights are appearing for the third time in program history.

Junior Brittany Batts led the Lady Knights with 18 points off five three-pointers. Senior Jen Papich tallied 14 points, sharing a team-high six rebounds with junior Nettie Blake. Blake added nine points. Senior Kelley Sundberg directed the Lady Knights' offense with eight assists in 40 minutes of action, tying a career game-high.

The Lady Knights shot 40 percent (18- of 45) from the field. The Lady Knights were hot from the free-throw line to open the game, making 88.9 percent (8 of 9). The Lady Knights finished the day at the foul line, hitting 75 percent (15 of 20).

No. 4 Colorado Mesa 73, Black Hill State 55

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Christen Lopez scored a career-high 25 points and led Colorado Mesa to a 73-55 win against Black Hills State in the RMAC Shootout Championship game in Brownson Arena on Saturday night. Lopez was named the tournament's MVP and helped the Mavericks win their second straight RMAC Shootout championship.

Lopez was 10 of 14 from the floor, including a career-high four three-point baskets and added five assists and four steals.

After leading just 37-32 at the half, Colorado Mesa came out and immediately went on a 15-5 run to start half. The Mavericks held the Yellow Jackets to just 23 second-half points and just six made field goals.

Black Hills State had a higher field-goal percentage than Colorado Mesa on the night (48.6-47.3) but turned the ball over 21 times that led to 26 Maverick points.

Sharaya Selsor finished the game with 19 points and seven rebounds. Selsor moved into fourth place on the all-time scoring list and has eclipsed 700 points on the season. She was named to the RMAC Shootout All-Tournament team.

Aubry Boehme was also named to the all-tournament team and finished the night 15 points and three rebounds.

Chelsey Biegler of Black Hills State led all scorers with 27 points including 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.

Colorado Mesa received the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA South Central Regional tournament and will await who and where they play next weekend.

No. 5 West Texas A&M 76, Tarleton State 67

ALLEN, Texas -- Redemption for West Texas A&M was the theme Saturday in the 2014 Lone Star Conference Championship as the top-seeded Lady Buffs downed No. 2-seed Tarleton State 76-67 to earn their league-best 12th LSC tournament crown in school history. Junior Chontiquah White was named tournament most outstanding player.

After a heartbreaking overtime loss in the Lone Star Conference championship game a year ago, West Texas A&M wouldn't be denied in returning to the championship game. The road wouldn't be easy as the TexAnns, the only team to hand the Lady Buffs a loss in conference play this season, gave the seasoned Lady Buffs everything they could handle. WT responded down the stretch as it closed the game on a 15-4 run giving the Lady Buffs their first LSC tournament title since 2010. 

With the win, WT improved to 27-2 on the year, while Tarleton State fell to 21-8 as the Lady Buffs earned the Lone Star Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament next weekend.

White followed up her career-high 32-point performance last night against Midwestern State with 14 points and seven rebounds Saturday. White was 8 of 9 from the free-throw line against the TexAnns. She finished the tournament averaging 17.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game on 16 of 33 from the field and 21 of 29 from the line. Joining White on the all-tournament team were seniors Casey Land and Devin Griffin.

Devin Griffin led the way for the Lady Buffs with 21 points and 10 rebounds for her team-leading sixth double-double of the year.  She was 7 of 12 from the field and 7 of 9 from the line, with three assists, three steals and one block. Land was second on the team with 20 points on 5 of 11 from the field, 1 of 4 from beyond the arc and a perfect 9 of 9 from the line. It was the second consecutive game the Lady Buffs had two players with more than 20 points and third of the season. Gerald chipped in 10 points.

No. 7 Emporia State 90, Southwest Baptist 69

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Lady Hornets put five players in double figures on their way to a 90-69 win against Southwest Baptist in the MIAA tournament semifinals in Municipal Auditorium.  With the victory Emporia State advances to the MIAA championship game for the fourth consecutive year.

The Lady Hornets never trailed in the game but could not take more than a seven point lead in the first half. The Bearcats shot 52.0 percent from the field and score 14 points off turnovers in the opening frame, while the Lady Hornets were able to hit 14 of 14 free throws and outrebounded SBU 20-14 in the first half.

Emporia State opened the second half with back to back 3-pointers by Rheanna Egli and Laura Patrick to go up 47-34 with 19:19 left in the game. The Bearcats closed to within 53-49 with 14:30 left when the Lady Hornets went on a 9-2 run to push the lead to double digits. After a pair of free throws by SBU's Leann Lansdown cut the lead to nine with 8:02 left, the Lady Hornets put the game away with a 9-0 run to go up 71-53 with 5:36 remaining.

Merissa Quick and Egli shared team high honors for Emporia State with 16 points each while Kelly Moten added 15 points. They were joined in double figures by Kionna Kellogg and Laura Patrick with 11 points each. Moten added six rebounds and a team high five assists while Desiree Wylie had a team high seven rebounds to go with nine points.

The Lady Hornets will take on 8 Central Missouri on Sunday afternoon in a rematch of last year's title game won by Emporia State.

No. 9 Glenville State 103, West Virginia State 75

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Glenville State Lady Pioneers advance into the MEC Conference tournament championship game as they defeated the West Virginia State Yellow Jackets on Saturday afternoon by a final of 103-75.

It’s the 18th time this season that the Lady Pioneers have scored 100 points or more.

Kenyell Goodson led the Lady Pioneers as she scored 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Keyanna Tate scored 14 points and had five steals in the win.

Also for GSC Tasia Bristow scored 13 points and handed out four assists while Tiffani Huffman and Kenyona Simmons both finished with 11 points each. Ashleigh Fossett chipped in with 10 points and five assists.

Aesha Peters grabbed eight rebounds and finished with a game-high five blocks.

West Virginia State was led by MEC Conference Player of the Year Lexy Carson as she scored a game-high 26 points.

The Lady Pioneers return to action Sunday as they take on the Charleston (W. Va.) for the MEC conference tournament championship.

No. 10 Nova Southeastern 80, No. 16 Rollins 70

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Tenth-ranked Nova Southeastern advanced to the Sunshine State Conference championship game, outlasting the No. 16 Rollins Tars on Saturday night at the Silver Spurs Arena 80-70.

The Sharks (24-4), who were up 11 with 8:00 left at 61-50, saw their lead shrink to two, 69-67 with 1:46 left. Rollins (24-6) had a chance to tie or take the lead, but after a missed shot and a rebound by Amanda Burakoski, she passed ahead to Taylor Buie who buried her sixth 3-pointer of the night in transition to push NSU out by five.

That basket began what was an 11-3 run to end the game and allow the Sharks to move on. Burakoski would hit 6 of 6 free throws in the final 39 seconds as part of her 12-point night, and she added a new career best of 14 rebounds. Buie's 26 points is also a new career standard, and it came on 9 of 13 shooting along with going 6 of 9 from behind the arc.

The Sharks move on to play No. 1-seeded Tampa in Sunday's title game, looking to knock off the No. 17 Spartans after falling to them twice in the regular season.