GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Indiana Tech women’s basketball team saw its hopes of earning an automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships come to an end on Saturday at the DU Student Center. The Warriors lost to Davenport University 60-87 in the semifinals of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament.
Both teams got off to a rough start with only two points, a Kia Frazier layup three seconds into the contest, being scored until a Taylor Carver jumper at 17:39 tied the score. After the Panthers (30-1) 4-0 run put them up 6-2, the Warriors were able to keep the score close and tied the score at 15 on a Kiley Camp three with 12:41 to play in the first half. A Shaina Johnson free throw put DU back ahead for good as the home team outscored Tech 24-9 to close out the half, taking a 39-24 lead into the locker room.
The Panthers outscored the Warriors 24-8 in the paint, 13-7 in points-off-turnovers and 11-1 on second-chance points. DU also outrebounded Tech 30-19. The Warriors offense was led by nine points from Rachael Kruse and eight points from Camp while Tiesha Stokes paced the Panthers with 11 points.
The second half began much the same way the first half ended with the Panthers opening on a 21-5 run to push the lead to a game-high 31 points, 60-29 with 13:38 to play. A Camp three, with an assist from Ulyssia Richmond ended the run and sparked a 17-10 run for the Warriors that cut the deficit to 24, 70-46 with 8:20 to play. DU finished the contest outscoring Tech 17-14 for the 87-60 victory.
Davenport won the game inside, outscoring Tech 46-18 in the paint and 18-4 in second-chance points while also winning on the glass, 55-40. The Warriors shot 32.2 percent (21-for-65) from the field and 35.3 percent (6-for-17) from three while going 12-for-19 (63.2%) from the free throw line. The defense didn’t have an answer for the Panthers as DU finished 33-for-75 (44%) from the field, 8-for-23 (34.8%) from behind the arc and 13-for-19 (68.4%) from the charity stripe.
“It’s a bittersweet end for our six seniors,” said Warriors Head Coach Jessie Biggs. “These six student-athletes have given everything they have to our program the last four years and have helped turn the program around. We won our first WHAC Tournament game in seven seasons and our 19 wins is the most we’ve had in a long time. It has been a pleasure to coach them and they will be missed next year.”
Camp, a senior from Russiaville, Ind. finished the contest with a career-high 16 points on a career-high four three’s. Kruse finished with 12 points and six rebounds while Chelsea Carradine added nine points, Sabine Filippovica tallied eight and Richmond added seven for the Warriors.
Tiesha Stokes paced the Panthers with 23 points and 10 rebounds while three other players finished with 11 points each.
The Warriors finish the season 19-13 and still have a chance to make the NAIA National Tournament via an “at-large” selection which will be announced during the NAIA selection show on Wednesday, Mar. 5 at 8 p.m. It can be seen live here.