SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Marian University continued its improbable run to the finals as a three-seed, defeating fellow three-seed Mount Marty 84-55 Monday night in the NAIA Division II National Championship Women’s Basketball tournament.
Lakan Hasser-Smith dropped in 21 more points, moving to just 16 points shy of 2,000 for her career and would be the first Knight in school history to reach the mark.
Kellie Kirkoff had 15 points, Anastacia Kirby 14 points and Joana Soeiro 10 points for the Knights, which look to join the women’s soccer program at the Indianapolis school to win NAIA titles this year.
Coach Katie Geralds, a standout at Purdue University in her playing career, had her defense record 15 steals and force 19 Marty turnovers overall.
Mount Marty closes at 25-11 while Marian moves to 31-6 and seeking its first national championship.
Goshen fell one game short of not only reaching its first-ever national championship game, but was the only Crossroads League team to not reach the championships on the women’s or men’s sides Monday night.
No. 1 seed Southern Oregon ended No. 5 Goshen’s season with an 84-69 final.
Southern Oregon continued to fill up the stat sheets, scoring 80-plus points in its third of four games in the tournament. Four players reached double figures in scoring, led by Courtney Setzer’s 17 points. Autumn Durand added 16 points for the Raiders, which move to 33-1 on the year.
Goshen’s first appearance in the NAIA Final Four had Gabby Williams record 21 points and 10 boards in the losing effort. Liz Tecca and Lynnia Noel each had 10 points for the Maple Leafs, which close out the year 27-9 overall.
Marian and Southern Oregon will meet at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the national championship game.