Division I Women's Basketball Championship Information
Contact: Roger Redmon
NAIA Media Operations
Oklahoma Christian Reaches NAIA Women’s Quarterfinals
with 65-64 Upset of Union (Tennessee)
JACKSON, Tenn. – Oklahoma
Christian University (21-11), the No. 5-seed in the fourth quarter of the NAIA
Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship Tournament, built an
11-point second-half lead and held on at the end to knock off top-seeded Union
University (Tennessee) 65-64 in second-round action Friday night at Oman Arena.
Union (34-3) put together a late rally to get within two points (61-59) with 25 seconds remaining when sophomore guard Monica Elliot banked in a running jumper in the lane. Oklahoma Christian guard Eden Wiens was then fouled at the 23-second mark and converted both ends of the one-and-one to stretch the Lady Eagles’ lead back to four at 63-59. Union bounced right back to cut its deficit to a single point again when junior guard Jessica Henson nailed a long three-pointer with 10 seconds left. The Lady Bulldogs then fouled Wiens, and with six seconds to play, the 5-foot-8 junior sank both free throws to again put Oklahoma Christian up by three. Union then in-bounded the ball and Elliot drove the length of the court for a lay-up as time expired, leaving the Lady Bulldogs one point short.
Six-foot-one senior center Elizabeth Mullins connected on 8-of-11 from the field and finished with a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds for the Lady Eagles. Wiens also reached double figures with 15 points to go with four assists and four steals.
Henson scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in the second half to aid the Lady Bulldogs’ comeback. Henson hit 4-of-7 three-point tries and also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds. Six-foot-two junior Ginger Bryant added 14 points for Union, while 6-foot-3 senior center Allison Harrison finished with seven points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Oklahoma Christian will play in the quarterfinal round for the first time since the tournament expanded to 32 teams. The Lady Eagles will face No. 2-seed Vanguard University (California) (27-9) at 6 p.m. CST Saturday, March 22 at Oman Arena.