Women's Basketball Heads To National Tourney
Filed under CMU News
on Thursday, March 07, 2013.
the first time in school history, Central Methodist will compete for the NAIA
Division I Women's Basketball National Championship. The 32-team field for the
33rd annual event was unveiled Wednesday, and the Eagles will battle defending
national champion Oklahoma City (26-3) in the First Round.
The Eagles are making their first trip to a National Championship since the
1999-2000 season when they were a member of NAIA Division II.
The 32-team, single elimination format will take place from March 13 - 19 in
the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky.
The Eagles (25-7) earned a No. 8 seed in the Fourth Quadrant and will battle
the No. 1-seeded Stars (26-3) on Wednesday, March 13, at 12 a.m. EST.
Session tickets, which can be purchased
online, are $10 each for general admission, $5 for senior citizens and free
to youth 12 and under.
NeuLion, the NAIA's official video streaming company of 12 select NAIA National
Championship events, will be broadcasting the first 30 games from Frankfort,
Ky. An all-tournament pass (30 games) is available for $29.95, while a single
day pass can be purchased for $9.95.
Central Methodist qualified for the 2013 National Championship as an at-large
team. The Eagles were the 13th of 14 teams to receive an at-large bid and the
third team out of the Heart of America Athletic Conference to reach the
tournament behind MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and Benedictine (Kan.).
The Eagles are one of five teams that punched a ticket to their first-ever NAIA
Division I Women's Basketball National Championship along with Benedictine,
Coastal Georgia, Faulkner (Ala.) and St. Catharine (Ky.). Prior to the Heart of
America Athletic Conference joining Division I in 2008-09, Benedictine had made
five trips to the Division II championship, while Central Methodist owns four.
The Green and Black were 7-4 during the four-year stretch, including a run to
the semifinals in 1999.
Central Methodist enters the hunt for the national championship led by senior
Raylyn Nuss, senior forward
Towanda Suttonand junior forward
Nuss, a second team All-HAAC choice, leads the team in scoring with 10.97
points per game. The O'Fallon, Mo, native was deadly from behind the arc
throughout the season, ranking second in the HAAC in 3-pointers made and treys
made per game. Nuss
ranks sixth in NAIA Division I in 3-point field goals made (85), 10th in treys
made per game (2.66) and 40th in 3-point field goal percentage (0.348).
Sutton was named to
the All-HAAC third team after averaging 10.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.04
assists during the regular season and HAAC Tournament. She scored a
career-high 25 points on Feb. 14 at Missouri Valley, the highest single-game
total for a Central Methodist player in 2012-13.
Joseph was an honorable mention all-conference pick after ranking second in
the HAAC in rebounds per game with a 9.63 average. She nearly averaged
a double-double after tallying 9.66 points in 32 games. The Houston, Texas,
native is second in the league in total rebounds, second in defensive rebounds
and third in offensive rebounds per game. In addition to her prowess on the
boards, Joseph ranks in the top 20 of the league in scoring, assists and steals.
She has posted 15 games of double-digit rebounds, and her seven double-doubles
are tied for fourth in the HAAC.
The Stars, who qualified as the No. 1 at-large out of the Sooner Athletic
Conference (SAC) and are making their 16th-straight (18th all-time) appearance,
rank third all-time with 54 victories at the event, trailing only former-NAIA
members Union (Tenn.) (67) and Southern Nazarene (Okla.) (58). Oklahoma City
has gone 54-12 in NAIA Tournament play.
Oklahoma City ranks second all-time with six national titles (1988, 1999, 2000,
2001, 2002, 2012) - Southern Nazarene boasts an event-best seven championships
- in nine trips to the finals, including four-straight crowns from 1999 - 2002.
Vanguard (Calif.) is the only other qualifier with a national championship
(2008) on its resume.
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