Perfection ended perfectly for the Saint Francis Cougars women's basketball team.
Standout guards Skylarr Shurn and Jenelle Wilson combined for 52 points – Shurn had a game-high 33 on her own -- and the Cougars, 38-0 and ranked No.1 in NAIA Division II for much of the season, defeated unranked College of the Ozarks 75-68 Tuesday inSioux City,Iowa, to win their first NAIA national title.
It was the first time an NAIA Division II women's team had finished the season undefeated since Morningside (Iowa) did it in 2009. And it was the first time the Cougars had been in the championship game since 1999, when they lost to Shawnee State(Ohio) 80-65.
This time, there was no denying the Cougars, who survived a scare in the semifinals from Cardinal Stritch and played Tuesday with forward Brooke Ridley less than 100 percent with a bum ankle.
But Ridley shook it off to finish with 13 points and 14 rebounds, and the Cougars rallied from an early deficit to take a 37-36 lead at halftime. A 13-6 run just past the mid-point of the second half put College of Ozarks in their wake for good.
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Indiana Wesleyan wins men's title
Indiana Wesleyan of the Crossroads League won the men's NAIA Division II national basketball championship in Point Lookout, Mo.
Wesleyan defeated Midland (Neb.) 78-68 in the championship game.
Jordan Weidner led four double-figure scorers for Wesleyan with 21 points. Wesleyan, which finished 31-6, went 15-3 in the Crossroads League.
Junior guard/forward Zac Vandewater, a Warsaw native and Whitko graduate, is a member of the team.