Claremore Daily Progress

March 7, 2013

NAIA WOMEN'S BB: No. 15 Lady 'Cats headed to Kentucky


CLAREMORE — The No. 15 Rogers State women’s basketball team will continue the 2012-13 season as the Hillcats will make their third consecutive trip to the Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, earning the No. 5 at-large bid, the national office announced Wednesday night.

The 32-team, single elimination format will take place from March 13 -19 at the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky. Head Coach Roxanne Long’s squad will face No. 20 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) on Thursday, March 14th at 9 a.m. The Saints (30-3) were an automatic qualifier as they registered a runner-up finish at the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament. OLLU is making its second appearance at the Dance as the squad made its debut in 2012, falling in the opening round to the eventual national champions, Oklahoma City University.

The Hillcats (23-9) put together its best Sooner Athletic Conference record in program history during the 2012-13 season, finishing with a 12-4 conference record and a third place finish in the standings. Senior Sierra Cornwell was named Sooner Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-conference for the second straight season. The Twin Hills, Okla. native ranks second in NAIA Division I in steal as she has tallied 125 swiped on the season. Senior Leah Smith leads the Hillcats in scoring as she averages 11.6 points per game. Logan Froese is right behind her with 11.3 points per game and was named to the Sooner Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team and second team all-conference.

A pair of SAC foes will join the Hillcats at the national tournament as No. 2 OCU looks to defend its title and win its seventh national championship in program history. No. 3 ranked Lubbock Christian also received a bid. The Lady Chaps defeated OCU in the SAC Tournament title game. It was LCU’s first conference tournament championship in program history.

The championship kicks off at 8:30 a.m. EST on day one and 9 a.m. on days two and three, with eight games scheduled each day. Quarterfinal action tips off at 2 p.m. on March 16 with the semifinals slated for March 18 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The championship final, which will be televised live on CBS Sports Network, will start at 6:30 p.m. on March 19.

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.