WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Win, In Saturday’s Elite Eight
JACKSON, Tenn. – NAIA No. 20 Trevecca Nazarene (21-11) defeated No. 6 Langston University (31-2) by the final score of 78-66 in the sweet 16 round game at the 28th Annual NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship. The championships are being held at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn.
Langston, who ends their season at 31-2, opened the game with an 11-1 run, including the game's first five points. However, Trevecca Nazarene responded with a 10-0 run, capped off by a three pointer from K.C. Van Atta, to tie the game at 11-11 at the 14:59. The Lady Lions of Langston again moved back on top by six points, but the lead was short-lived. TNU answered with a late first half serge, scoring 20 of the half's final 31 points to take a 38-32 halftime lead.
Trevecca Nazarene sank 5-of-9 three pointers in the first half to help take control of the game.
The second half started with Trevecca Nazarene keeping the momentum gained late in the first half as they posted four straight points to push their lead to double-digits for the first time in the contest. The lead remained safely in the Trojans' favor. Langston pulled as close as five points, 55-50, with 9:24 left, but couldn't get any closer.
Trevecca stretched the lead out to as many as 14 points, 76-62, in the final minutes before coasting to a 78-66 second round win.
Kristin Archie led Trevecca with 20 points and was joined in double figures by Mariska Reed (18), Abby Lawson (15), Jennifer Bognar (12) and K.C. Van Atta (10). Bognar produced a double-double with 12 reboudns and had two assists and four steals. Christian Gibson led Trevecca with five assists. Lawson had a team high three blocks. Reed added seven rebounds, four assists, a block, and three steals.
Langson was led by Latesha Calton with 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Jenissa Harris also posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Dominque Thomas added 18 points while Sachia Clemmons scored 13 points.
For Trevecca’s seniors this was win No. 101. They are now 101-43 in their four-year career. This is also seventh time a Trevecca women’s team has won 20 games. All seven have come in the last nine years. This senior class is the first to win 20 games ever year of their career. Gary Van Atta has led the program to 20 wins in each of his three seasons and now has a 79-23 record at the helm of the program.
Trevecca Nazarene will advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday, March 22 at 2:00 pm and will face the Point Loma Nazarene/Loyola winner. This is the fourth straight trip to the quarterfinals for the Trojans who are looking for their first ever semifinal appearance.
For more information on the Championships, click here
Trevecca is making its ninth consecutive trip to the NAIA Women's Basketball Championships since reinstating the women's program just 12 years ago. Coach Gary Van Atta is returning to the tournament for the eighth time. This is the third trip for Van Atta with the Trojans. He led Montevallo (now NCAA D-II) to five consecutive trips to the NAIA tournament. He led Montevallo to the Fab Four, two Elite Eight's and one Sweet Sixteen. In all, Van Atta has a 13-7 record at the NAIA Tournament. Including Trevecca, Van Atta has led five teams to the Elite Eight round. The Trojans are 11-6 in NAIA Tournament play. Trevecca has been to a Sweet Sixteen (2000) and to the Elite Eight four years in a row.
Gary Van Atta Quotes
Being outrebounded 54-39
“We knew it would be a struggle on the boards; they are an awesome rebounding team. The game got physical late and they ended up with 27 offensive rebounds.”
On getting down 11-1 at the start
“I just told them to settle down and our upperclassmen took charge. I was proud of the team for bouncing back and the key to the game might have been our run at the end of the first half.”
“We held an opponent to 30 percent from the field and we played great defense. This is a team that only lost one game coming into the tournament. We had 11 steals and they had 20 turnovers against a very quick team. They only had five steals.”
Tough schedule this year
“We intentionally setup a great schedule, but some of the teams were even better than we had thought. At Christmas when we had six losses we said we believed the schedule would help us this week and it has. As I said after the first round this is the best prepared team for the tournament in terms of schedule and knowing what to expect here. We have seen every style of play imaginable”
On Elite Eight
“Well whether its Point Loma and Loyola will will have a tough game. There are not easy Elite Eight matchups. Everyone is tested and is on a roll. We’ll have to be ready to play again tomorrow. Those are two very talented teams that had success as well. We look forward to the opportunity to play another day.”
All games are broadcast over 89.1 and 91.5 WNAZ FM. All games are aired on the internet atwww.wnaz.com All home games have a statistical webcast available at www.tnutrojans.com