Women's Basketball - Thu, Mar. 15, 2007
JACKSON, Tenn. - Top-seeded Saint Xavier University (Ill.) never trailed in an 85-73 first-round victory over eighth-seeded University of West Virginia Institute of Technology at the 27th Annual NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at Oman Arena.
Despite never leading the game, West Virginia Tech stayed within striking distance and tied the game at 54-54 on a pair of junior forward Orlandrea Moore free throws with 12:02 remaining in the game. Both teams went scoreless for the next two and a half minutes before a senior guard Angie Brown (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) basket followed by a pair of freshman forward Erin Hannemann (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) free throws gave Saint Xavier the lead for good at 58-54 with 8:15 to play. The lead bounced between four and eight points before Saint Xavier sank six free throws over the final 90 seconds for the final 85-73 margin.
Senior guard Candis Jackson (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) scored a game-high 22 points and collected a game-high four assists, Brown added 19 points and junior forward Jackie Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hannibal-LaGrange) provided a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double for Saint Xavier. Hannemann tallied 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
West Virginia Tech featured four starters in double figures, led by a 19-point, nine-rebound performance from Moore, who also blocked two shots.
With the win, Saint Xavier improves to 29-2 on the season and advances to a second-round matchup with Lambuth University (Tenn.) in an 8 p.m. second-round contest Friday. West Virginia Tech, which finished with a 1-23 record a year ago, completes the dramatic turnaround with a 24-9 campaign.