Stars Outshine Raiders In NAC Semifinal
Courtesy of Dominican University
RIVER FOREST, Ill. -- The Dominican University women's basketball team out-lasted the MSOE Raiders, 76-71, in a Northern Athletics Conference Tournament semifinal on Friday night, earning the program's first trip to a conference championship game since joining the NCAA Division III ranks in 2000.
The two teams exchanged leads over the first 35 minutes with neither team leading by more than six until Sarah Budz (Orland Park, Ill.) broke a 58-all tie with a free throw which was followed by steal and lay in by Ashley Oliver (Bolingbrook, Ill.), igniting an 8-0 run for the Stars that was capped by a Kayla Blom (Circle Pines, Minn.) three-pointer with 3:20 to play and giving the Stars a 66-58 lead.
The Raiders answered with a three by Marguerite Wellstein but the Stars made good on ten of 12 attempts from the charity stripe in the final two and a half minutes to earn their 19th victory of the season.
Budz and Blom shared team-high honors for the Stars, scoring 19 points apiece. In the process, Budz became just the third player since 2000 at Dominican to score 1,000 career points, eclipsing the milestone with a jumper in the lane with just under seven minutes to play in the first half. Budz was just 4-for-7 from the field, but went 11-for-12 at the foul line, while Blom was 5-for-7 from behind the three-point stripe. Magdalena Kaminska (Orland Park, Ill.) added 18 points in 21 minutes, going 5-for-8 from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line.
Carol Cayo paced the Raiders with a game-high 22 points. The academic All-American was 9-for-19 from the field.
The win improved the Stars to 19-8 on the season and advances to the conference tournament championship game for the first time since the early 1990s. On Saturday the Stars will travel to Milwaukee, Wis., to take on the Wisconsin Lutheran Warriors with the winner earning the right to represent the NAC in the 2012 NCAA Division III National Tournament. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.