Women's Basketball - Fri, Mar. 16, 2007
JACKSON, Tenn. - Fifth-seeded Lambuth University (Tenn.) advanced to its first-ever quarterfinals after bringing down the second number one seed of the tournament in a 77-61 win over Saint Xavier University (Ill.) in the second round of the 27th Annual NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at Oman Arena.
Saint Xavier completely erased a 15-point first-half deficit and twice took one-point leads midway through the second half, the last after freshman forward Erin Hannemann's (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) bucket gave SXU a 53-52 lead with 9:49 remaining.
However, a knee injury to senior guard and 2007 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Player of the Year Candis Jackson (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) at the 13:02 mark of the second half kept her off the court for the remainder of the contest. At the time of the injury, Jackson was the team's leading scorer with 17 points and had scored the first 14 points of the second half for SXU. Dee Preyer returned the lead to Lambuth for good with a pair of free throws after the Eagles grabbed the offensive boards on two missed three-pointers with 9:17 to play. That was the start of a 25-6 run that gave Lambuth a commanding 77-59 lead with just 1:39 remaining in the game.
Meghan Fuqua scored 16 of her game-high 26 points in the first half, helping Lambuth to a 40-28 halftime lead. Fuqua also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, and Tara Robinson provided all 10 of her points off the bench in the opening period. Preyer added 16 points, including eight-of-nine from the free throw line. Lambuth had 20 second-chance points to Saint Xavier's six, thanks to 21 offensive boards and a 42-26 rebounding edge.
Saint Xavier was led by Jackson's 17 points, while freshman guard Angie Bush (Valparaiso, Ind./Morgan Township) and junior guard Sarah Wilson (Bloomington, Ind./South) each contributed nine points off the bench.
Lambuth improves to 24-9 on the season and advances to a quarterfinal matchup with the Southern Nazarene/Westminster winner Saturday night at 8 p.m. Saint Xavier's season-long winning streak is snapped at 14 games and drops the Cougars' final season record to 29-3.