Player of the Year: Kiana Johnson (5'6''-G-93) of Virginia Union All-America Team Mariyah Brawner-Henley (6'0''-F) of Lewis Jennifer Gemma (6'0''-F) of Bentley Miki Glenn (5'7''-PG) of California University of Pennsylvania Nicole Hampton (5'10''-PG) of Lubbock Christian LaQuinta Jefferson (6'0''-G) of Missouri Western State Kiana Johnson (5'6''-G-93) of Virginia Union Jasmine Kearse (5'6''-G) of Limestone College Michelle Mitchell (5'9''-G) of Columbus State Chelsey Rhodes (5'7''-G-94) o... [read more]
Lubbock Christian Becomes First NCAA Program to Claim a NCAA Div. II Women's Basketball Title In First Season of Eligibility Top-ranked Lubbock Christian University became the third team in NCAA Division II Women's Basketball history to cap a perfect season and the first to win a national championship in their first season of eligibility, as they claimed the program's first national title with a 78-73 win over University of Alaska Anchorage Monday afternoon in the NCAA Division II Women's... [read more]
Lubbock Christian Becomes First NCAA Program to Claim a NCAA Div. II Women's Basketball Title In First Season of Eligibility Top-ranked Lubbock Christian University became the third team in NCAA Division II Women's Basketball history to cap a perfect season and the first to win a national championship in their first season of eligibility, as they claimed the program's first national title with a 78-73 win over University of Alaska Anchorage Monday afternoon in the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship Game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The senior duo of Kelsey Hoppel (5'9''-G) and Nicole Hampton (5'10''-PG), who close their LCU careers with a combined 3,247 points, led LCU in the win. Hoppel posted a season high 27 points, which was the most by a Lady Chaps individual this season. She hit four three-pointers and collected four steals. Hampton nearly became the eighth player in NCAA women's basketball history (first in Division II) to record a quadruple-double, as she had 22 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and matched a career high with seven steals. She ends her LCU career with 42 double-doubles. LCU led the game for 35:04 and only trailed for 37 seconds, but the game's flow did not reflect that. Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard until 2:46 into the game, when Hoppel scored a pair of her eight first-quarter points. Jessica Madison (5'8''-G) was 4-of-7 from three-point range for UAA and connected on her first with 4:58 left in the first quarter for an 8-5 UAA lead. It would be the only time the Seawolves would lead, as LCU responded with a 12-0 run for a 17-8 lead with 1:19 left in the opening quarter. Five of the points during the run were from senior Haley Fowler (5'10''-G). LCU led 18-13 at the end of the first quarter. Madison hit another timely three-pointer for UAA with 6:18 left in the half and LCU's lead was cut to 25-24, but again LCU responded and with a bucket by Fowler, who capped a 6-0 run to build the lead to 31-24 with 4:19 left in the half. LCU led 40-32 at the half. Hampton had 11 rebounds, eight points and five assists in the opening half. LCU was 61.5% from the field in the second quarter (8/13). On two occasions during the third quarter, UAA was able to cut LCU's lead down to a three-point game, but LCU responded with a small 4-0 and 6-0 run. The second run consisted of three-pointers from Hoppel and Hampton for a 55-45 lead with 3:25 remaining in the third quarter. Hoppel was 3-of-5 from long range for nine points in the quarter and they led 60-50 heading into the fourth quarter. Hampton followed a Tess Bruffey (6'4''-F) three-pointer with a pair of free throws for a 71-57 lead with 4:55 remaining. That was the end of a 7-0 run and it was the start of UAA's comeback bid. The Seawolves forced four consecutive LCU turnovers and went on a 9-0 run to cut LCU's lead to 71-66 with 2:29 left in regulation. It was also part of a 12-2 run that had UAA trailing LCU 73-69 with 1:17 remaining. Hampton had a runner with 40 seconds left and also had three steals in the quarter (six in the second half) to help build the lead to 78-69 with 21 seconds left. UAA scored two quick buckets in the final 13 seconds, but time was on LCU's side and the Lady Chaps celebration erupted onto the floor with the final buzzer. LCU ran a tight squad, with only seven of their players touching the floor. Five Lady Chaps played at least 24 minutes and everyone played at least 12 minutes. Bruffey fouled out marking the first Lady Chaps starter to foul out on the season. LCU was 48.1% (26/54) from the field and held UAA to 41.4% from the field (29/70). LCU had six blocks, with Kellyn Schneider (6'5''-F) surpassing 200 career blocks with five blocks (204). LCU received 15 points from Fowler, who joined Hoppel and Hampton in double figures offensively. The Lady Chaps out-scored UAA 19-7 from the free-throw line, as UAA was whistled for 25 fouls (11 against LCU). UAA, who ends their season at 38-3, was led by a 23-point and 12-rebound double-double from Megan Mullings (6'1''-F) and received 14 points from Madison. UAA out-rebounded LCU 47-30, leading to a 20-5 advantage in points off turnovers. The title is the first national title for LCU, as a university, at the NCAA Div. II level. This season is LCU's first season eligible for NCAA postseason after transitioning from NAIA, where they claimed 14 team NAIA National Titles (11 by running programs, two by baseball and one by softball). They are the first team to go undefeated in NCAA Division II Women's Basketball since Bentley went 35-0 two seasons ago. The last NCAA Div. II program (any sport) to win a title in their first season of eligibility in NCAA Division II was Academy of Art (Women's Track & Field in 2013). LCU is the first Heartland Conference member to claim a title in women's basketball.
POSTGAME NOTES (Provided by NCAA)
DIVISION II NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP NOTABLES Today's game was the first-ever meeting between Alaska Anchorage and Lubbock Christian. The game was the first of three national championships that will be decided in women's basketball this week in Indianapolis as the Division I, Division II and Division III titles are being determined at the same site this season. The game was the first Division II title game to be decided by single digits since 2012.
NO. 1 SEED LUBBOCK CHRISTIAN LADY CHAPS Lubbock Christian concludes the season with a 35-0 record. Lubbock Christian becomes the third team in NCAA Division II history to finish the season undefeated with a national title, joining the 1995 North Dakota State (32-0) and 2014 Bentley (35-0) squads to finish the year with unblemished marks. It is the second time in three seasons that a team has claimed the national title with an undefeated record in Division II Women's Basketball. Lubbock Christian completed its first season as a member of NCAA Division II after making the move from the NAIA and went 6-0 in their inaugural NCAA Tournament appearance. Lubbock Christian's 35th win on the season extended their school record for wins in a season, having surpassed the 2012-13 output of 31 wins during a 31-4 campaign. Lubbock Christian improves to 1-1 all-time in national title games, having finished as the runner-up in the 2006 NAIA Tournament. Lubbock Christian used the starting lineup of Nicole Hampton, Kellyn Schneider, Kelsey Hoppel, Haley Fowler and Tess Bruffey. Lubbock Christian trailed for just 0:37 in the game, marking the 24th time this season that the team has trailed for 0:50 or less in a game. They did not trail at the completion of the final 86 quarters they played this season. It was just the seventh time this season that Lubbock Christian led by single digits at halftime in a contest this season. They only trailed at the half once, against Rogers State earlier this year. Senior Nicole Hampton finished the game one assist shy of her third career triple-double. She concluded her final collegiate game with 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. Hampton finishes her career as the all-time career leader at Lubbock Christian in points (1,796), assists (659), rebounds (1,053) and steals (330). Hampton also started her 130th career game, having started every game of her collegiate career. Hampton had 11 rebounds in the first half Senior Kelsey Hoppel, Lubbock Christian's career leader in three-pointers, hit four three-point field goals to bring her career total to 271 as she finished with a game-high 27 points. Her 91 three-pointers this season is the program's single-season record. Senior Kellyn Schneider's first block of the game in the first quarter of play was the 200th of her LCU career in just her second season with the Lady Chaps. She finished the game with five blocks to bring her total to 204. NO. 2 SEED ALASKA ANCHORAGE SEAWOLVES Alaska Anchorage is now 21-14 in NCAA Tournament play in program history, including a 5-1 mark in this year's event. The program made its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament this year. With the loss, Alaska Anchorage is now 67-5 over the last two seasons. Alaska Anchorage used the starting lineup of Megan Mullings, Jenna Buchanan (5'8''-G), Alysha Devine (6'0''-F-95), Kiki Robertson (5'7''-G) and Jessica Madison. The Seawolves made their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II National Championship game and reached at least the national semifinals for the third time in program history (2008, 2009). The Seawolves opened the game just 2-of-11 from the field before Jessica Madison's three with 1:01 remaining in the first quarter narrowed the Lubbock Christian lead to 17-11. Alaska Anchorage trailed at halftime for just the third time this season and finished the year 1-2 when trailing at the half. Senior Megan Mullings had 23 points and 12 rebounds on 10-of-17 shooting. Senior Jessica Madison had 14 points and hit four three-point field goals.
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