Lady Tornado draws top-seed SAGU at NCCAA Nationals

BRISTOL, Tenn. - King College was placed as the No. 8 seed for the NCCAA Division I Women's Basketball National Tournament that will tip off Thursday at Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.

King, at 13-16 on the season, earned a second straight trip to the NCCAA National Tournament with a Mid-East Region Championship that was won Saturday over Oakland City (Ind.) University 84-78.

This will be King's sixth appearance at the NCCAA National Tournament. The 2009-10 squad went in as the No. 5 seed and finished sixth after a narrow 64-61 defeat against No. 3 seed Bluefield (Va.) College on the final day. The Lady Tornado also went every year from 1988 to 1991. King is the only program in NCCAA history to win three straight women's national championships, from 1988 to 1990.

Trips to national tournaments are not new to King as head coach Michele Williams will take a Lady Tornado squad to a national event for a fourth consecutive year, NCCAA Nationals the last two and before that back-to-back NAIA Division II National Tournaments in 2008 and 2009.

King placed two players on the NCCAA All-Mid-East Region team, Ashley Deans (Greeneville, Tenn.) and Derika Mooney (Athens, Tenn.). Deans was a first-team selection for a second consecutive year while Mooney made the second team. Deans ranked No. 10 nationally in scoring with a 16.5 average while her 85.1 free throw percentage ranked No. 8 among NCCAA players. Mooney's 2.5 steals and 3.8 assists per game averages led the region.

The Lady Tornado will face off against top-seed Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Texas) Thursday at 5 p.m. This will be the first meeting in program history for King against a team that went 21-12 on the season, the most wins of anyone in the event. The Lady Lions will make their first NCCAA Nationals appearance as one of two at-large selections after suffering a loss in the Central Region Tournament which was won by Mid-America Christian (Okla.) University.

Southwestern Assemblies finished fourth in the Red River Athletics Conference, a NAIA Division I league, with a 15-7 league record. Chelsea Jones owns the team lead in scoring with a 16.5 average while teammate Stephanie Hawkins ranks second with an 11.5 points per game mark, but leads the team with 3.8 assists per contest.

The winner of the King-Southwestern Assemblies contest will play the winner between No. 4 seed Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) College and host Grace (Ind.) College, the No. 5 seed. Those two squads meet at 7:30 Thursday. The semifinal contest has a 7 p.m. start time Friday. The two losers will face off Friday at 3 p.m.

The other side of the bracket has defending NCCAA National Champion Bethel (Ind.) College as the No. 2 seed playing No. 7 seed Mid-America Christian at 1 p.m. in the tournament's opening game. At 3 p.m. No. 3 seed Emmanuel (Ga.) College plays No. 7 seed Trinity International (Ill.) College. The winners meet Friday at 5 p.m. with the losers going to a 1 p.m. contest Friday.

On Saturday, the national championship will be decided at 5 p.m., but a seventh, fifth and third place games will be played earlier in the day.

For more tournament information, click here

2011 NCCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament Teams

Seed

Team

Region

Record

Last NCCAA Appearance

#1

Southwestern Assemblies of God

Central (At-Large)

21-12

First

#2

Bethel (Ind.)

Midwest

18-14

2010 (Champion)

#3

Emmanuel

South

17-14

2010 (Seventh)

#4

Roberts Wesleyan

East

19-11

2008 (Fourth)

#5

Grace

Midwest (Host)

16-15

2010 (Eighth)

#6

Trinity International

North Central

18-14

2009 (Eighth)

#7

Mid-America Christian

Central

14-16

First

#8

King

Mid-East

13-16

2010 (Sixth)