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Lady Chiefs earn program's first ever win at National Tournament
Lady Chiefs earn historic win for Waubonsee's women's basketball program
(Overland Park, KS.) – Waubonsee Community College’s women’s basketball team earned the program’s first ever win at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament by making their free throws down the stretch to eliminate North Arkansas College 78-73. Freshman forward Julianna Wadsworth connected on 9 of 10 attempts from the line over the final two minutes to seal the Lady Chiefs’ historic victory.
Waubonsee grabbed the lead shortly after the opening tip and built a 14-point advantage midway through the first half. North Arkansas (20-11) battled back with a barrage of three-point baskets to get within two points before the Lady Chiefs headed to the locker room with a 41-37 lead at halftime.
Waubonsee stayed in front until Jordan Cottengim’s three-pointer gave the Pioneers the lead 62-61 with six minutes left in the game. However, North Arkansas’ lead only lasted about 10 seconds as Brooke Harner’s driving layup quickly put the Lady Chiefs back in front. Waubonsee would not relinquish the lead after that. The Lady Chiefs finished the game 23 of 30 from the foul line and out rebounded the Pioneers 37-28. In contrast North Arkansas made just 6 of 8 attempts from the line, but made up for that disparity by making 13 of 35 shots from three-point range.
Wadsworth finished the game 16 of 18 from the charity stripe to set a new tournament record for most made free throws in a single game. The Oswego East graduate booked a season-high 31 points to go along with her eight rebounds and three steals. Harner added 13 points, dished out four assists and hauled down six boards. Sarah Grams contributed 12 points, including three baskets from beyond the arc to give her 10 treys in the Lady Chiefs’ two tournament games. The Kaneland product also dished out six assists and made two steals. Ashley Prost and Bailey Klaas both chipped in with nine points each, while Lizzy Goll blocked two shots and snagged five rebounds.
The Lady Chiefs (21-13) will now play 16th seeded Phoenix College (13-21) at 1:00 p.m. (CST) tomorrow, Friday, March 20 in an elimination contest at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. The winner moves into the seventh place game set for Saturday, March 21 at noon. All the tournament games can be viewed ‘live’ via the web at www.njcaatv.org/womenbkbchamp/