Another Champion Crowned in Sioux Falls: California (Pa.) Defeats California Baptist in NCAA DII Women’s Championship
Patient butpersistent offenseby the California (Pa.) Vulcans and poor first half shooting by the California Baptist Lancers made for a 86 to 69 victory for the Pennsylvanians in the NCAA Women’s Division II basketball championship at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls Friday night.
The Vulcan’s Miki Glen led all scorers with 31 points and 8 rebounds. The Lancers were led by junior Darsha Burnside with a double-double, 27 points and 12 boards.
The Vulcans lead through most of the game. They ended the first half in a blaze, scoring 46 points and leading the Californians by 20, 46 to 26, at intermission.
Starting the second half, however, the Lancers made a comeback that was coupled with some Vulcan lapses, creeping back to within eight points with 12:35 remaining in the game
But that was as close as the Lancers would get, despite the lanky Burnside’s shooting in the second half. The Lancers had difficulties finding the basket in the first half, shooting only 29 percent in the first half, improving to 43 percent to end the game. The Vulcans shot 50 percent for the game, 54 percent in the first half, 45 percent in the second.
With about 4:00 left, the Vulcans went to a spread offense, letting the air out of the ball and scored some easy baskets, taking the gametozeros on the clock. All that was left was to cue the explosion of confetti and the streamers at the end of the game.
“I’m not usually speechless, but I’m extremely happy for these kids,” California coach Jess Strom said at the postgame news conference. “They’ve putworkin for seven months now. I don’t know a team that deserves it more; they just work so hard. It’s awesome that they get to go out on top, especially for the seniors.”
For CBU coach Jarrod Olson, the loss hurt, but he was proud of his team and what being in the Elite Eight meant to his players and others.
“I’m really thankful for all the support we got along the way, from administrators, fans, family, Sioux Falls,” Olson said after the game. “We had a lot of kids at the game from the elementary school we visited earlier in the week. It was exciting to be somewhere we could really make an impact on other people and the support they gave us was proof of that. I’m really proud of this team and of the season we had.”
The two championship contenders also had all the players on the All Tournament Team, which was also announced at the conclusion of the championship game.
The announced attendance was 1,372, with both teams having bevies of raucous but well-behaved supporters at the game. The SiouxFalls WashingtonHigh School Pep Band provided entertainment before and during the game.
NCAA Elite 8 All-Tournament Team
22 Darsha Burnside, F/C, Jr., 6-2, San Bernardino, California – California Baptist
32 Courtney Nelson, G, Soph., 5-10, Kennewick, Washington – California Baptist
2 Emma Mahady, G/F Sr., 5-11, Albury, Australia – California (Pa.)
21 Miki Glenn, G, Soph., 5-7, Bridgeport, West Virginia. – California (Pa.)
11 Kaitlynn Fratz, G Sr., 5-5, Accident, Maryland – California (Pa.) – Elite 8 Most Outstanding Player