Top-ranked Lubbock Christian University Lady Chaps cruised to an 88-68 NCAA Div. II Tournament win over No.9/No.11 West Texas A&M in the South Central Region final at a sold out Rip Griffin Center. The win gives LCU their first region title and advances them into the Elite Eight in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Lady Chaps went on a 15-3 run in the first quarter. The Lady Chaps built as much as a 50-25 lead in the half and took a 50-27 lead into the half.
LCU had a string of 10 consecutive field goals made in the second half. LCU led as much as 73-47, with 7:59 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Chaps were 63.8% from the field in the game (30/47). Sophomore Tess Bruffey (#54) had the highest individual point total by a Lady Chaps member this season with 26 points (8-of-10 from the field). LCU also received 18 points from redshirt senior Nicole Hampton (#2), 17 points from redshirt senior Kelsey Hoppel (#23), and 16 points from senior Haley Fowler (#24).
Several milestones were achieved, as Fowler became the third active Lady Chaps member to eclipse 1,000 points in her LCU career (sitting with 1,002). Hampton, who had seven rebounds, seven assists, and five steals, moved into third all-time on LCU's point list. She has 1,731 career points and moved past Emily Pool into third all-time. Bruffey matched a career high of 22 points all in the first half.
LCU and WT are separated by 110 miles, but they had only met one prior time. The Lady Buffs (28-5) were unable to win the region for a third straight season despite 21 points from Sasha Watson. LCU's win over WT marked the Lady Buffs worst loss since a 79-51 loss to Southwestern Oklahoma State on Nov. 24, 2012.
LCU (32-0) becomes the first Heartland Conference team since Drury in 2004 to reach the Division II Elite Eight. Drury eventually went on to the Division II National Title game, where they finished as the runner up to champion California (Pa.). The Lady Chaps will travel to Sioux Falls, S.D. to play the winner of Benedict and Florida Southern on March 22.
Over a span of 5:38 covering the first two quarters, LCU out-scored WT 21-5. LCU was able to keep their distance the rest of the way.
Stat of the Game
LCU had a 14-0 advantage in points off turnovers in the first half.
Tess Bruffey (LCU) – Most Outstanding Player
Nicole Hampton (LCU)
Sasha Watson (WT)
Jasmine Prophet (ASU)