IT's FRIENDS (KAN.) in SIoux CITY
The College of Idaho will meet Friends University in the first round of the 2012 State Farm-NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championships on Wednesday in Sioux City, Iowa.
The No. 16 Lady Yotes (22-8) earned a No. 4 seed in their quadrant and an 11 a.m. (MT) date with the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season champions. The complete bracket can be found online at https://admin.xosn.com/pdf8/829357.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=27900&KEY=JGXQJCMGHNEDUNE.20120229151909.
The Falcons (23-9), from Wichita, Kan., were ranked No. 17 in the final Top-25 Coaches’ Poll, and making their fourth appearance at the National Tournament, but their first since the 2000-01 – and are searching for their first win at the event. Friends had a nine-game win streak snapped in the KCAC Tournament semifinals, as Sterling (Kan.) defeated the Falcons, 71-66 in overtime.
Second-year head coach RaeAnne Booth has a go-to player in Abby Fawcett, the KCAC’s leading scorer at nearly 18 points a game, while leading the league in steals. Six-foot post Abril Marshall, who averages 11 points and six rebounds a night, along with Fawcett, earned All-KCAC honors. The Falcons average 67 points per game and connect on 40-percent of their field goal attempts, but opponents’ have outboarded the team by over one rebound a game this season.
The C of I will be making a school-record fourth-straight trip to Nationals and seventh appearance overall, but looking for their first win at the event since the 2000-01 season – when the Lady Yotes advanced to the national championship game, losing to Northwestern (Iowa). The Coyotes are 6-6 all-time in Sioux City.
Other teams in the Coyotes “quarter” include top-seeded and overall No. 1 team Indiana Wesleyan and No. 8 seeded Menlo (Calif.) – whom the Yotes defeated earlier this season. The winner of the Coyote-Friends game will play the IWU-Menlo winner at 9:15 a.m. (MT) on Friday. The other half of the Yotes “quarter” include No. 2 Northwestern (Iowa), No. 3 Jamestown (N.D.), No. 6 Union (Ky.), and No. 7 Indiana-Southeast.
Two other CCC teams will play their opening game on Thursday – as Corban squares off with Point Park (Pa.) and Eastern Oregon meets Ave Maria (Fla.). It is the third time that the league has had three teams at the National Tournament (1999, 2009).
All games will have Live Stats available, along with a pay-per-view video stream, at http://www.naia.org.