Owls and Griffins in Sweet 16 Match-up
JACKSON, Tenn. - The 21st-ranked William Woods University women's basketball team will play 8th-ranked Westminster College (Utah) in the second round of the NAIA Women's Basketball National Tournament. The Owls enter the tournament as the 6-seed in Bracket 1. The Griffins enter the tournament as the 2-seed.
The Owls are one of 32 teams that will be competing in the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championships. The 31st annual event will be held in Jackson, Tenn., on March 16-22 in Oman Arena. The Owls received an at-large bid to this year's tournament. This marks the third consecutive year WWU has advanced to the National Tournament.
William Woods (30-4) is coming off a 77-69 victory over 9th-ranked, and third-seed Biola University. The Owls used a 13-2 run in the second half en route to the tournament victory. The win set a new school record for wins in a season. It was also the first win in school history in the tournament.
Rachel Baker (Mexico, Mo.) led the Owls with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Jill Sutton (Warrenton, Mo.) added 18 points and six rebounds in the win. Jestine Gerber (Jefferson City, Mo.) also reached double-figures for the Owls. She scored 15 points for WWU.
Westminster (27-6) won its opening round game Wednesday. They defeated Rogers State University 60-56. WC won the Frontier Conference regular season title. They lost in the semifinals of the postseason tournament. The Griffins are making their fifth straight appearance at the National Tournament.
The Griffins have four players that average double-figures in scoring. They are led by senior Michelle Pace. Pace, a 6'0" forward, averages 13.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Nicole Yazzie, a 5'7" sophomore guard, averages 12.1 points and 3.3 rebound per game. Allie Eastman, a 5'10" sophomore guard, averages 11.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Dani Evans, a 5'9" senior guard, averages 10.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. The Griffins shot 44.9% from the field and 35.5% from the three-point line. They have outrebounded their opponents 1153-1139.
The Owls and Griffins tip-off at 4:30 pm Friday afternoon in Oman Arena. Thirty-one games will be played out in Jackson. The first 30 games will be video-streamed by NeuLion, the parent company of JumpTV. Three different subscription plans for basketball (Men's and Women's Division I; Men's and Women's Division II) will be available for tournament coverage. Users can purchase the All-Tournament pass, which includes every event offered on College Sports Direct from all four basketball tournaments for $39.95.