No. 7 seed Point Park draws No. 2 seed Morningside in NAIA DII Tournament
March 5, 2014 at 11:00 p.m. ET
By Zachary Weiss, Point Park Athletic Communications Student Assistant
PITTSBURGH -- The Point Park University women's basketball team found out Wednesday that it earned a No. 7 seed in the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship and will face No. 2 seed Morningside (Iowa) in the first round March 13 at 7 p.m. CT in Sioux City, Iowa.
Point Park (29-4) is the champion of the KIAC Tournament and is back in the national tournament for the third year in a row. The Pioneers have once again drawn one of the top teams in the nation with Morningside (27-6) ranked No. 5 in the NAIA Division II Top 25 Poll this week.
Point Park is once again unranked this week despite going 3-0 through the KIAC Tournament last week. The Pioneers come in at No. 28 overall and in the 'others receiving votes' section of this week's poll, which is one spot down from last week.
"We don't have any control over it," head coach Tony Grenek said of the seeding and pairing. "It's an honor to go to the national tournament, everyone there is a good team. We're going to have to prepare as much as possible and hope for the best."
Morningside lost in the Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament finals to No.4-ranked Northwestern (Iowa), the defending national champion and one of four No. 1 seeds in this year’s 32-team national tournament.
The Mustangs a perfect 15-0 at home, and they will be the host team in Sioux City for the national tournament. Three scorers average in double figures led by Leann Osten 12.6 points per game. Ashlynn Muhl (11.1 ppg/7.8 rebounds per game) and Lexi Ackerman (10.1 ppg) round out the trio.
Additionally, Morningside is second in NAIA D-II in steals per game and total steals, third in turnover margin, fourth in total offensive rebounding and fifth in total scoring offense. Osten ranks sixth individually in total steals and 11th in steals per game.
Morningside is led by Head Coach Jamie Sale, who has won 400 games. In addition, he has missed the national tournament just once in his tenure.
"They're an excellent team and always in a run for the national championship," Grenek said of Morningside. "They're athletic, shoot the ball well and push the ball up in transition. They fall back into a 2-3 or 3-2 zone and like to press you. It will be a tough challenge for us."
All games of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship will be held at the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena in Sioux City, Iowa. The Point Park-Morningside winner will play the winner of No. 3 College of St. Mary (Neb.) vs. No. 6 Friends (Kan.) in the second round March 14 at 8:45 p.m. CT.
The NAIA will provide live streaming video (Pay-Per View) of every game of the national tournament with its partner NeuLion. The Final Four and championship game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
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