Joplin, MO – The Barclay Lady Bears went to Joplin, Mo to play in the Southwest Region Tournament this last weekend. The winner of this tournament is an automatic qualifier for the NCCAA DII National Tournament in Cincinnati, OH. The Lady Bears were the #4 seed and played #5 seed Ozark Christian College in the opening round.
Barclay came out and executed the offense and their pressure defense forced numerous Ambassador turnovers in route to the Lady Bears 71-54 victory. Junior Brandi Moral led the way with 19 points, followed by 14 points from Freshman Raelyn Epp and 13 points from Sophomore Jamie Larsh. Senior Kaylee Miller chipped in with another all-around game, adding 8 rebounds and 7 steals.
The next night the Bears faced off against nationally ranked and #1 seeded Hillsdale College. The Lady Bears came ready to play despite their lack of size in comparison to the Lady Saints. At the eight minute mark of the second half the Lady Saints had a four point lead and called a timeout to try and slow down the upset minded Barclay women. However the Lady Bears, for the first time all game, made some mistakes and found themselves down by 12 with 5 minutes left to play. They then regrouped and tried to make one last charge but the Lady Saints were able to hold off the Lady Bears and win by a score of 71-60. Brandi Moral had her best game of the year as she poured in 28 points. Kaylee Miller added 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Coach Lingafelter reflected, “I am a competitive guy and I really hate losing. But we played well in both games! Our offense is really getting us some open looks and the defense has been very stingy for about a month now. This is a special group of ladies. The improvement they have shown this semester is a testament to the hard work they put in and the great team spirit they are building with each other.”