By Travis Morgan
Sioux City, IA -
Top-ranked Morningside (Iowa) overwhelmed the tournament's surprise entrant, Webber International (Fla.), 92-43, in the first round of the 2013 State Farm-NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championships on Wednesday. Returning All-American guard Chelsie Trask's three early treys allowed the Mustangs to build a comfortable lead early on, paving the way for a rout of the Warriors.
Morningside emptied the bench early as 14 of the 15 players on its tournament roster saw action. Twelve of those players tallied at least four points with Trask and Bobbi McManaman leading the way with a dozen points apiece. The Mustang bench amassed 51 points compared to 13 for the Warriors.
Head coach Jamie Sale's Mustangs will draw the winner of fourth-seeded Oklahoma Wesleyan and fifth-seeded College of Idaho in their second round game, which will be played at 7 p.m. on Friday.
No. 7 Northwestern began its defense of its three-straight national championships by cruising to a 92-66 victory over Mayville State (N.D.) on Wednesday in the first round of the 2013 State Farm-NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championships. Red Raider All-American forward Kendra De Jong continued her dominant play on the national stage with 16 points and 10 rebounds despite leaving the game in the first half with an apparent injury.
The Comets stayed close early on until Northwestern surged in the latter part of the second half. The Red Raiders stretched their lead to 41-23 in the first half and led by as many 28 points with Alli Dunkelberger Mackenzie Small and Karen Hutson leading the way. They made up for De Jong's absence with a combined 46 points.
Head coach Chris Yaw's squad used its usual stout defense and rebounding to mow down Mayville State. Northwestern limited the Comets to 29 percent shooting while out-rebounding the Association of Independent Institutions foe, 61-38.
The Red Raiders have not lost at the national tournament since a 63-58 semifinal defeat to GPAC rival Morningside (Iowa) in 2009. Northwestern is aiming for its sixth national title in school history.
The Raiders advance to Friday's second-round game, where they will challenge No. 10 Concordia (Mich.) in a battle of top-10 teams. Tipoff is set for 10:15 a.m. Concordia defeated Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 90-80 in a first-round game earlier on Wednesday.