|KSOU 93.9 FM|
@ Mayville State
Tyson Tip-Off Classic
|NAIA Division II National Championship|
Wed, Mar 6 - Tue, Mar 12
|Venue:||Tyson Events Center|
|Location:||Sioux City, Iowa|
Game Time...Seventh-ranked Northwestern College opens national tournament play against (RV) Mayville State (N.D.) on Wednesday, March 6 at 1:45pm in the first round of the 2013 NAIA Division II women's basketball national championship. The 2013 championship is held at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Northwestern is one of the four #2 seeds and is 23-7 overall while Mayville State is seeded seventh with a 20-5 overall record.
All-Time...Northwestern is 2-0 all-time against the Comets, earning an 85-62 win in 2004-05 and a 109-74 victory in 2008-09.
How They Qualified...Mayville State earned the final of 11 at-large bids into the 32-team field.
Northwestern earned the GPAC's second automatic berth into the championship by reaching the GPAC title game against Morningside, who had already qualified by way of it regular season championship.
Tournament History...The Comets are one of eight schools who are making their first trip to the national tournament, joining Oklahoma Wesleyan, Olivet Nazarene, Purdue Calumet, Reinhardt, Roosevelt, Saint Xavier and Siena Heights.
Northwestern is making its eighth straight and 12th overall appearance at the national tournament, tied for the third most in this year's field (Ozarks-19, Cardinal Stritch-17 and Concordia-Neb-12). The Red Raiders have won the last three and four of the last five national championships, also owning the record for most wins at the national tournament (39) and national championships (5)-2001, 2008, 2010-12. They have a 15-game win streak heading into this year's tournament.
Scouting Mayville State...The Comets are members of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII), one of three teams in the 32-team field from the AII (Jamestown and Valley City State). They finished league play with a 9-3 record, earning the #2 seed in the postseason tournament. Mayville lost to third seed Valley City State (78-66) in the semifinals but still was able to earn its first bid into the national tournament. They are 20-5 overall and earned votes in the final (Feb. 27) coaches' poll. The Comets opened the year with four straight wins and began the year 16-1. They improved to 20-2, climbing all the way up to #15 in the Feb. 12 poll before dropping three straight to close the season.
Dennis Hutter is in his seventh season as the Comets' head coach and served as an assistant at Southwest Minnesota State prior to coming to Mayville State. Last year, he guided the Comets to its first winning season in four years, finishing with a 14-12 record. Hutter returns two starters and 10 players off the 2011-12 team.
Mayville State led the league in scoring and field goal percentage, averaging 83 points per game and shooting 45% from the field. They are third in the NAIA with 252 three-pointers, averaging nearly 11 per game, while shooting 36% from beyond the arc. Defensively, the Comets are giving up 63 points per game and are fifth in the NAIA in rebounding (+8).
Newcomer Marcisa McMillan leads the Comets' in both scoring (15.7) and rebounding (9.3), earning AII player of the year honors. The 6'2" junior from Seattle, Wash., ranks second in the NAIA with a 66% field goal percentage and has 45 blocked shots. Junior Hailey Longtin, one of the two returning starters, averages 15.6 points per game and is second on the Comets with 65 three-pointers. She has scored 1,000 points in her career and is a two-time first team all-conference selection. Sabrina Rude scores 12.2 points per game and gives Comets' another perimeter threat with 81 three-pointers, third most in the NAIA. Liz Hoglo, a transfer from North Dakota, scores nine points per game.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are one four GPAC teams in the national tournament field, joining Morningside, Concordia and Briar Cliff. Northwestern finished third in the GPAC regular season with a 15-5 record and defeated Mount Marty and Concordia to reach the conference finals. They lost to top-seed and #1 Morningside in the title game, 78-73, to fall to 23-7 on the season. All but one of the Red Raiders' seven losses are to ranked teams and teams in the national tournament field. Northwestern finished the season ranked seventh in the Feb. 27 poll.
Chris Yaw is in his second year as the Red Raiders head coach after spending seven years at the top assistant. He won the NAIA Phyllis Holmes Coach of the Year honors last year after guiding Northwestern to its third straight national championship with a 28-7 record.
Northwestern ranks third in the GPAC in scoring (76.7) and led the NAIA with a 48% field goal percentage. They rank second in the NAIA in rebounding (+10) and led the GPAC in field goal percentage defense (36%), giving up 63 points per game.
Kendra De Jong, the two-time GPAC player of the year, leads Northwestern in scoring (17.6) and rebounding (10.8), ranking fifth in the NAIA on the boards. The senior All-American led the GPAC with a 54% field goal percentage and ranks third all-time in career scoring with 2,319 points (trailing Deb Remmerde-Leusink-3,854 and Rachel Binneboese-2,515). De Jong is the all-time leader in rebounds (1,185) and fourth in steals (241). Samantha Kleinsasser ranks 10th in the GPAC in scoring (13.2), shooting 52% from the field. The junior earned second team all-GPAC honors and pulls down 6.5 boards per game, ninth most in the conference. Kleinsasser ranks third in the GPAC with 39 blocked shots. Both Alli Dunkelberger and Karen Hutson score 12.2 points per game and earned honorable mention all-conference honors. Dunkelberger leads the team with 52 three-pointers, shooting 34% from beyond the arc. Hutson pulls down 4.3 rebounds per game.
Up Next...The winner will play either #3 seed Concordia (Mich.) or #6 seed Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) in the second round on Friday, March 8 at 10:15am.