The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


March 14, 2014

Defending champs score NCCAA tourney win

The defending national champions are advancing to their fifth straight national championship semifinals.

Maranatha Baptist University, the 2013 NCCAA Women’s Division II national basketball champion and the No. 7 seed in the 2014 tournament, dispatched No. 2 seed Ohio Christian University 77-51 Thursday night at the Ozark Christian College Multipurpose Building in the opening day of the 2014 tournament.

The Crusaders advance to today’s winners’ bracket semifinal.

All-American Laci Peterson, a 6-foot-1 senior center, scored a game-high 21 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, dished out nine assists and had five blocks shots to post the best stat line of the tournament.

Senior guard Allison Schultz scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Courtney Dunn added 12 points and dished out four assists, Stacy Reinke and Rachel Wells had eight each for the Crusaders (12-14).

Maranatha defeated Manhattan Christian College 56-53 in Circleville, Ohio for the 2013 crown. The Crusaders advanced to the semifinals in 2010, 2011 and 2012, losing in the national championship game to Kentucky Christian in 2011 and 2012 and finishing third in 2010.

Ohio Christian (17-13) was paced by sophomore forward Olivia Davis’ 11 points.

Kentucky Christian 69, North Central 54

NCCAA Women’s Division II Player of the Year Tanya Bowens poured in a game-high 26 points as Kentucky Christian earned a victory over North Central University (Minneapolis, Minn.) in the opening game.

Bowens scored 14 of her 26 in the second half as the Lady Knights extended their 36-25 halftime lead.

North Central University (11-16) got 18 points each from sophomore forward Jamie High and senior guard Jorie Grenell.

Arlington Baptist 86, Lancaster Bible 82

 With the shot clock winding down under five seconds, clinging to a two-point lead, 79-77, Morgan Hale got the ball in the spot she wanted.

Hale, a 5-foot-6 sophomore guard from Aransas Pass, Texas, drained her sixth 3-pointer with 22 seconds left to create a five-point cushion to help lift No. 4-seed Arlington Baptist College to a victory over No. 4-seed Lancaster (Pa.) Bible College.

Hale scored a game-high 32 points on 11 of 21 shooting from the floor, 6 of 10 from behind the 3-point line and 4 of 7 from the free throw line.

Lancaster Bible (21-7) was led by sophomore guard Katy Stover’s 22 points.

Pensacola Christian 60, Manhattan Christian 58

No. 6-seed Pensacola pulled the upset to keep No. 3-seed Manhattan Christian College from a repeat appearance in the semifinals.

Manhattan (25-5) hit only one field goal in the final three minutes, a Leah Pauli putback with 2:49 left after a missed 3-pointer by Brittany Shaklee. The Crusaders missed their next four 3-point field goal attempts.

Alysaa Loudermilk’s 10-foot jumper from the right baseline with 2:38 left tied the game at 58 and Lydia Hempstead gave Pensacola the lead with 1:21 left with a pair of free throws.

The Eagles (19-8) were led by Loudermilk, a 5-foot-10 freshman guard, who scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

The Crusaders got 17 points and eight rebounds from sophomore guard Leah Pauli.

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