Photo Credit: California University
The Cal U Vulcans captured the NCAA Division II National Championship for the second time in program history on Friday night with an 86-69 victory against California Baptist at the Sanford Pentagon.
The California University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team closes the year with a 32-4 overall record and joins the 2004 Vulcans as the only basketball national champions from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). Meanwhile, California Baptist finishes the year with a 29-7 mark in its second year as a full member of NCAA Division II.
Sophomore guard Miki Glenn finished with a career-high 31 points after scoring 20 points in the second half. She made 10-of-17 attempts from the floor and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. Glenn also added eight points, four assists and three steals, while playing all 40 minutes.
Senior Emma Mahady posted 19 points, including 13 in the first half, on 8-of-15 shooting and collected four rebounds and two steals. Fellow senior Kaitlynn Fratz added 15 points, five rebounds and six assists, while freshman Seairra Barrett totaled 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Fratz was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championships Tournament after averaging 16.7 points per game while in South Dakota. She also posted 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals, while playing all but five minutes over three games. In addition, Glenn and Mahady were selected to the all-tournament team on Friday night.
CBU opened the game on an 11-2 run after making four of its first six shots before Cal U answered with 11-unanswered points to take a 13-11 lead with Fratz converting a three-point play at the 14:24-mark. The Vulcans continued the run following the media timeout, as they held the Lancers scoreless for nearly six minutes, eventually mounting a 21-0 run to build a 23-11 lead following a pair of free-throws by Glenn with 11:46 left in the first half. The teams traded points for the next four minutes before Cal U scored six-straight points to take a 39-23 lead on a layup by Glenn with 4:50 remaining before the break. The Vulcans eventually took a 48-28 lead into halftime after shooting almost 55 percent in the first half.
The Lancers cut the deficit to single digits, 57-49, behind a 21-9 run in the opening seven-plus minutes of the second half and prompted a timeout by the Vulcans with 12:35 left to play. CBU made 9-of-13 shots from the floor during the rally before being held scoreless for two-plus minutes following the timeout. The Vulcans scored three-straight baskets to reclaim a double-digit lead at 63-49 on a jumper by Mahady with 10:25 remaining. CBU made back-to-back baskets to trim the deficit to 63-53 with 9:02 before Cal U prevented the deficit from ever getting any closer after committing just one turnover and shooting 7-of-13 from the floor. Glenn totaled 16 points in the final eight minutes of the game, including six free-throws in the final minute of play.
Cal U finished the game shooting 50.0 percent (34-of-68) from the floor and 77.8 percent (14-of-18) from the free-throw line. In comparison, CBU shot a 43.1 clip (28-of-65) from the field and 76.9 percent (10-of-13) from the charity stripe. The Lancers held a slim 36-35 rebounding advantage and scored 46 points in the paint, while the Vulcans scored 22 points after forcing 18 turnovers.
Junior Darsha Burnside, who stands 6-foot-2, scored a team-high 27 points, including 20 in the second half, after shooting 11-of-19 from the floor. She also totaled 12 rebounds (eight offensive) and six blocks despite being whistled for her fourth foul with 8:38 remaining in the game. Sophomore Kamille Diaz finished with 18 points, while classmate Courtney Nelson added 15 points and nine rebounds.
Cal U closed the year with 11-consecutive victories and won 18 of its last 19 games. The Vulcans earned the PSAC Championship, NCAA Atlantic Region Championship and the NCAA National Championship in the same season for the second time in school history (2004).
— For more coverage go to caluvulcans.com —
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