Wartburg Women Going To NCAA Final Four [Video]
The Wartburg women's basketball team is going where no other squad in program history has gone before -- to the Final Four of the Division-III NCAA Tournament.
The unranked Knights won the regional championship by knocking off No. 5 Texas-Tyler, 80-74, at St. Thomas' Schoenecker Arena in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday night (March 12, 2016).
The victory halted the Patriots' 21-game winning streak and earned Wartburg a trip to Columbus, Ohio, for the national semifinals (Updated Bracket).
The Knights (23-7) trailed 19-15 after the first quarter, but used a 24-point second quarter to take the 39-31 lead at halftime. They expanded their advantage to 10 points, at 41-31, in the third quarter, then survived a pair of comebacks by the Patriots (30-2).
Wartburg weathered Texas-Tyler's run by shooting 7-for-11 in the fourth quarter. The Patriots cut the Knights' lead to one point, then two points midway through the final period, but Wartburg responded with a 7-0 run that Miranda Murphy (Alleman) capped with a long 3-pointer.
The Knights sealed their first trip to the Final Four with 6-for-6 shooting from the free throw line down the stretch. Wartburg's victory gives the Iowa Conference (IIAC) its first national semifinalist since Central won the national championship in 1993.
Senior Kailey Kladivo (Traer) led the Knights with 22 points and narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Murphy followed with 16 points and her sophomore classmate Katie Sommer (Cedar Rapids) rounded out the leading scorers with 12 points.
UP NEXT: The Knights play 7th-ranked Tufts on Saturday (March 19) in Columbus, Ohio. The winner advances to the national championship game.
Courtesy: D3Hoops.com via YouTube