On Thursday, February 27th the Lady Bears went into their loaded Southwest Region Tournament seeded 5th and looking for some payback against Ozark Christian College (Joplin, MO), who had already handed them three loses this year. With three of the top 10 teams in the nation in the Southwest Region, the Lady Bears first focused on gaining momentum with a win against the Ambassadors.
The game was back and forth for most of the first half as the Lady Bears, without three starters, played very good defensively. At halftime the Lady Bears held onto a 36-33 lead. The second half was more of the same as these two familiar opponents would not give ground. In the end, a late push by the Lady Bears propelled them to a 69-61 victory. Senior Brandi Moral lead the Bears with a monster 34 point and 15 rebound performance while Senior Sarah Sullivan continued to make her presence felt with 12 points and 9 rebounds.
#1 seed Hillsdale Free Will Baptist (Moore, OK) was up next for the Lady Bears. The Saints went into the game ranked 4th in the nation and they proved why. Even with the Lady Bears 3 main scorers having good games, the Saints were able to pull away for a 90-60 victory. Morale led the team again with 18 points, Sullivan chipped in 16, and Sophomore RaeLyn Epp added 15 points.
In conclusion Head Coach Brad Lingafelter said, “I was very proud of the girls. Playing in a tournament of this caliber without three of your starters is a tall task to overcome. We played really well in both games. The biggest key was that we played really hard and gave great effort. Brandi and Sarah were both fantastic this weekend and it is a nice performance for these two seniors to go out on.”