Lady Hornets upset top seeded Iowa WesleyanPublished 9:30pm Wednesday, March 5, 2014
UNIONTOWN, Pa. — Going into the USCAA Women’s Division I National Championship tournament, Concordia College Alabama’s Lady Hornets didn’t look at themselves as the underdogs despite being the last team into the field.
After Wednesday, the Hornets could probably argue they are one of the favorites.
Concordia (16-11) upset top-seeded Iowa Wesleyan (21-3) 71-56 in the quarterfinals of the USCAA Division I Women’s National Championshi, as they chase the program’s second women’s basketball title in just a few years.
“Everybody made some shots tonight,” Jackson said. “In the second half they came out in man and our athleticism took over.”
Concordia led 35-27 at halftime and then quickly upped its advantage to 54-36 midway through the second half. In the game, the Lady Hornets forced 14 steals, which contributed to 18 Tigers’ turnovers. Concordia only turned it over nine times.
“It was very fundamentally sound,” Jackson said of his team’s defense. “We talk about how defense is more a team thing. We don’t need heroes … we don’t try to go out there and get the Superman big play.”
While the Lady Hornets’ defense set the pace, Concordia’s Tykeria Johnson and Lashay Lettingham picked up the offense. Johnson, who was named a first team All-American Tuesday night, scored 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting and added four rebounds and four assists. Lettingham, who was a second team All-American, scored 17 points and came up with four of Concordia’s steals.
The Hornets won the USCAA national championship in 2011. Now, the program is only two wins away from its second national championship in four seasons. Jackson said the leadership of three girls that were on that 2011 championship team — Malaisha Chandler, Garrett Gaybreill and Desiree Wilson — has helped his team get to this point.
“We’ve got a great group of girls who believe in what we are trying to do as a program,” Jackson said. “They take what we are trying to do as a program and put it into their own skill set.”
Karla Vietinghoff scored 19 points for the Tigers, with 11 of her points coming from the free throw line. The Hornets will play The Apprentice School in the national semifinals Friday at 11 a.m. The Apprentice School defeated Rochester College 74-59 to advance.
Daemen 95, Concordia 79 (Men)
After leading top-seeded Daemen College (20-6) by two at halftime in the USCAA Men’s Division I Naitonal Championship quarterfinals, Concordia College Alabama (16-15) was unable to hang on in the second half in a 95-79 defeat.
The Hornets were led by Frederick Turner and All-American Tavin Cummings, who each scored 19 points. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
The Hornets were outrebounded 27-19 in the second half alone.
The Wildcats trailed 40-38 at the half, but began the second half on a 15-2 run.