Lady Knights take on #2 Manhattan Crusaders
In the second round of the National Championship tournament, the Lady Knights played the second-seeded Crusaders of Manhattan Christian College of Manhattan, Kansas. The winner of this game would play for the title.
Manhattan controlled the tip, but missed their first shot, and KCU rebounded, only to miss as well. Manhattan missed two foul shots, but put in a three-pointer to start off the scoring. KCU missed on the next possession, then stole a pass but missed again. Soon down 0-5, Monica Stevens responded with a basket, followed by Tanya Bowens, to pull back to 4-5. Manhattan scored three times in a row to pull out to a 4-11 lead, then KCU blocked a shot out of bounds, then forced an air-ball thrown up to beat the shot clock. Katelyn Meyer hit a triple to put KCU back in the game at 7-11, but another small run of points pulled the lead back up around 8 points. KCU cut the lead to 4 several times in the first half, but could not get closer. At half-time, the score was 26-33 with KCU trailing.
In the second half, KCU began strong, and pulled to within 1 point, at 31-32. It looked like the tide would change until Manhattan called a time out. A small run put the Crusaders up by 5, then another scoring spree put the gap at 11. During the second half, the play was very physical, with several fouls called early, and KCU having to sub often to slow down anyone getting into trouble. Manhattan soon stretched the lead to 35-52, and the scoring began to slow down. With just under 6 minutes to go, KCU began to feel the pressure of foul trouble. Manhattan pushed the lead out to around 20 points, and the game ended with the score at 44-64.
Tanya Bowens led KCU with 12 points, and Jessica Marshall threw in 10. Jana Glick pulled down 8 boards to go with her 5 points, while Monica Stevens had 7 rebounds and 5 points as well. Rachel Chester had 4, while Sharonda Jones and Katelyn Meyer each dropped in 3. Kelsi Pugh's only basket came on a nice reverse layup while passing under the basket. KCU shot .311 from the field, and only .200 from three-point range. Manhattan shot 56% from the field. Coach Arnett said after the game: " It was a disappointing loss, everything seemed to go wrong all at once. Manhattan played well".
KCU is now 17-16 on the season, and faces Trinity Baptist College in the game for 3rd place.