Top-seeded Campbellsville University came ready to play Wednesday night.
Campbellsville went on a 35-9 run bridging halftime to rout No. 8 Southern Polytechnic (Ga.), 84-68, in the first round of the 34th annual NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship at the Frankfort Convention Center.
“We came out ready to play and showed everybody here that we are good enough,” said Campbellsville sophomore Lindsey Burd, who had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lady Tigers (31-3), making their fifth straight appearance, will face No. 5 Xavier (La.) — which upset defending champion Westmont (Calif.) 66-53 Wednesday night — Friday at 2:15 p.m.
Southern Polytechnic (23-8) was bounced in the first round for the second straight year.
“I felt like at the end of the first half we got a little bit of momentum and got going,” said Campbellsville coach Ginger Colvin, whose team has won eight straight. “We took it into halftime and came back out in the second.”
Senior Katie Allen made five 3-pointers on her way to scoring 17 points to go along with six assists for the Lady Tigers. Senior Ellen Sholtes had 16 points and six assists and senior Hayley Hellyer added 12 points and five rebounds.
“We have a lot of depth and balance,” said Colvin, whose team got scoring from nine different players. “We never know who’s going to step up and knock down big shots.”
With Southern Poly hanging around, Campbellsville finally started to give itself some cushion by ending the first half on a 15-5 run.
Senior Mary Jehlik hit a 3-pointer and Allen made two more, including one in the final seconds that made it 42-31 at halftime.
Then in the second half, the Lady Tigers started right where they left off, going on a 20-4 run to build a 27-point margin.
“Our offense comes off of our defense,” Burd said. “We wanted to pick it up and get some steals and get us going and by doing that we got a lot of baskets.”
Senior Sarah Ogoke had 23 points to lead four players in double figures for the Hornets. Senior Erica Turner had 16 points and five rebounds, junior Alexandria Prince finished with 13 points and five rebounds and junior Shana Ward added 11 points.
“I think Southern Poly is really athletic,” Colvin said. “I think it took us a little bit to just get accustomed to their athleticism.”
CAMPBELLSVILLE (84) — Caroline Owen 2, Katie Allen 17, Daizah Kimberland 8, Kristen Jacob 5, Mary Jehlik 5, Ellen Sholtes 16, Hayley Hellyer 12, Lindsey Burd 15, Lindey Young 4.
SOUTHERN POLYTECHNIC (68) — Alexandria Prince 13, Sabrina Curry 5, Shana Ward 11, Sarah Ogoke 23, Erica Turner 16.
OKLAHOMA CITY 79,
Oklahoma City used a decisive free-throw advantage to beat Langston University (Okla.) and advance to the second round for the second-straight time. Oklahoma City made 36-of-50 free throws, including 29 of 37 in the second half. Langston only attempted 23 free throws.
The Stars (23-4) will play No. 6 Montana State-Northern Friday at 12:30 p.m. The Lions (20-13) lost in the first round for the first time since 2010.
Senior Kayla MacKenzie had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the Stars. Junior Yvonte Neal scored 17 points, senior Autumn Huffman finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds and senior Cara Pugh added 10 points.
The Lions had four players score in double figures — junior Lynette Holmes (18), senior Alex Adekunie (14), junior Kashyla Fields (13) and senior Jasmyne Randolph (10).
MONTANA ST.-NORTHERN 56, COLUMBIA 55
Junior Rachelle Bennett made 1-of-2 free throws with 14 seconds left to help Montana State-Northern upset Columbia College (Mo.).
The Skylights (22-9), who are making their first tournament appearance in eight years, will play No. 2 Oklahoma City Friday at 12:30 p.m. The Lady Cougars (26-8) lost in the first round for the fifth straight time.
Junior A’Jha Edwards had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Skylights. Sophomore Kacie McKeon added 14 points.
Sophomore Janairrika Bland scored 12 points and sophomore had 10 points and six rebounds for the Lady Cougars.
Xavier (La.) capped the first day by making history after knocking off defending champ Westmont (Calif.). No team had ever lost in the first round following a championship.
The Golden Nuggets (24-9) will play top-seeded Campbellsville Friday at 2:15 p.m. The Warriors (20-10) trailed by 21 at halftime.
Senior Whitney Gaston-Lloyd (15 points), junior Vinnie Briggs (11) and senior Danielle Tucker (10) all scored in double figures for the Golden Nuggets.
Senior Kelsie Sampson had 26 points and seven rebounds to lead the Warriors. Junior Esther Lee scored 16 points.