2013 NAIA DII WBB Bracket
Live Video-Streaming Information
(Ann Arbor, MI) – In just five days' time, the women's basketball team at Concordia University will join 31 other teams from around the country and begin the 22nd annual NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. After receiving an automatic bid, the No. 10 ranked Cardinals drew a three-seed in their bracket, setting them up to take on the No. 24 ranked Tigers from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois who drew a six-seed. This is the third time in three years the Cardinals have been to the NAIA National tournament. This is the first time in program history the Tigers will be at the big dance.
The Tigers boast a 23-8 overall record and were 17-5 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). Running a Grinnell-style offense, Olivet averages 102.2 point per game while holding their opponents to 87.7ppg. The Grinnell style of offense is a fast-paced, high scoring system. It's a run and gun offense with each offensive possession only lasting around 5 seconds usually resulting with a 3-pt attempt. The Tigers average around 58 3-pt attempts a game. Defensively the Grinnell system consists of full court pressure resulting in potential easy buckets but with the hopes of outscoring their opponents in the end. Olivet Nazarene is led by Ashley Wilson, a 5-11 sophomore forward from Portage, Michigan. She accumulated 487 total points this season and is ranked fourth in the NAIA for field goal percentage (.626) and offensive rebounds per game (4.00). Their junior guard Miranda Geever (Moline, IL) totaled 336 points this season and shoots 33.3 percent from behind the three-point arc.
The Cardinals head into the game with a 27-6 overall record and a 20-2 mark in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC). CUAA was crowned back-to-back WHAC Regular Season Champions and finished as the Runner-Up in the WHAC Tournament falling to #6 Davenport University. The Cardinals are led by the WHAC Player of the Year, sophomore guard, Abbey Hengesbach. During the regular season Hengesbach lead the WHAC in scoring and points per game scoring 533 points so far this season and averaging 18.38 points per game. Furthermore, she was 3rd in the WHAC in field goal percentage shooting 49% from the floor, 2nd in 3-point field goal percentage shooting 42%, 4th in free throw percentage shooting 78%, 6th in rebounds per game averaging 7.9, and 3rd in assists per game averaging 3.9. Abbey was not the only Cardinal named to the WHAC All-Conference team as senior forward Hannah Sabol (Shelby Twp. MI/Regina HS) also earned the honors for the second year in a row. Sabol the WHAC leader in rebounds during the regular season, averaging 10.27 rebounds per game. Sabol is currently averaging a double-double this season as she was 9th in the WHAC in scoring averaging 14.7 points per game. Additionally, Sabol is 5th in the WHAC in field goal percentage and free throw percentage shooting 46% and 77% respectively. Senior guard Kelly Cieslak (Brighton, MI/Brighton HS) was named to the WHAC All-Defensive team for the 4th time in her career making her one of only 4 WHAC players in the last 20 years to accomplish this Award all 4 years in their careers. Cieslak also earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors. Cieslak led the WHAC in blocks per game averaging 2.2 per contest. She was also 5th in the WHAC in assists per game averaging 3.67 per contest.
The teams have faced two similar opponents this season, Purdue-Calumet and Robert Morris University (Ill.), with Concordia finishing 2-0 and Olivet finishing 2-3. Concordia defeated Robert Morris on November 2 (78-63) and turned around the next night to beat #13 Purdue-Calumet 87-74. The Tigers split in their series with Robert Morris, losing on the road 116-108 on January 19 before defeating them on February 2 at home(102-91). Olivet struggled with CCAC foe Purdue-Calumet losing back-to-back games to them on the road 121-113 on February 13 and 112-99 on February 20. The Tigers did manage to beat them at home on January 3, 108-100.
The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference landed five squads in the National Championship field: #21 Cardinal Stritch, #24 Olivet Nazarene, #13 Purdue-Calumet, #8 Roosevelt and #18 Saint Xavier. The WHAC saw three teams make the tourny, #10 Concordia,#6 Davenport, and #20 Siena Heights.
The winner between CUAA and ONU will play on Friday March 8th against the winner between back-to-back-to-back National Champion #7 Northwestern College (Iowa) and #RV Mayville State University (N.D.).