Saint Francis had little trouble advancing in its first game of the NAIA Division II women's basketball championship.
The No. 1 Cougars defeated Ashford (Iowa) 57-37 in the Tyson Events Center at Sioux Falls, Iowa.
Saint Francis (34-0) plays No. 4 seed Siena Heights (Mich.) (26-8), a 77-59 winner over Tennessee Wesleyan, at 11:15 a.m. Friday in the second round.
Skylarr Shurn paced the Cougars' offense with 17 points, and Brooke Ridley had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jennelle Wilson scored 10.
Elizabeth Nardie was the only player for Ashford (12-21) to score in double figures, finishing with 14 points.
For more on this story, see Thursday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Thursday.