Kristana Edwards scored 23 points and hit a pair of key free throw
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) _ Kristana Edwards scored 23 points and hit a pair of key free throws with 1:27 to play as Wayland Baptist narrowly avoided an upset bid by Central State of Ohio in the NAIA Division I women’s tournament.
Central State (20-9) had battled back from a 17-point deficit to take a 71-70 edge over Wayland (27-4) after a layup by Reqyette Lindsay with 2:17 to play.
But Wayland, the No. 10 seed, blanked Central in the final minutes and put up six points from the free throw line for a 76-71 first-round win.
After Edwards’ two free throws put Wayland up 72-71, Ulla Madsen hit one free throw and Cassie Blaunt scored Wayland’s final three points from the line.
Central overcame a 40-29 halftime deficit, tying the game 59-59 on a 3-pointer by Chantel White with 7:41 remaining and taking the lead 61-59 on a jumper by White with 5:54 left.
Madsen added 16 points to Wayland’s total, while White topped Central State with 28 points.
In Thursday’s other matchups in the evening session, it took overtime for Montevallo, Alabama, to top St. Mary’s of Texas 67-51; Union, Tenn., dumped Lindenwood, Mo., 79-53; and Simon Fraser of British Columbia defeated East Texas Baptist 79-57.
In the day session, Xavier of Louisiana defeated Salem-Teikyo, W.Va., 87-75; Campbellsville, Ky., downed Rockhurst, Ill., 69-54; Southwestern Oklahoma topped St. Vincent, Pa., 78-52; and Auburn-Montgomery drubbed Voorhees 103-50.
Cathrine Swain scored all seven of her points in overtime to spark Montevallo to an overtime victory over St. Mary’s of Texas.
The Falcons (22-9) move to a Friday meeting with top-seeded Southern Nazarene of Oklahoma.
Montevallo’s Sheena Bowling forced the overtime when she tied the game 48-48 with two free throws with 10 seconds left to play.
After an exchange of baskets, Swain keyed a 13-0 Montevallo run that put the game out of reach of the Lady Rattlers (25-7).
Bowling topped all scorers with 23 points for Montevallo, while Julie Lynch had 17 points and 20 rebounds for St. Mary’s.
Union’s Latisha Beamus scored 16 points and broke the NAIA Division I women’s tournament record for steals in a game with nine as the Lady Bulldogs stopped Lindenwood, Mo.
Union (31-2) took control midway through the first half when Marquetta Hunt’s free throw snapped an 11-11 tie and sparked an 11-0 Lady Bulldogs’ run. Union, the tournament’s No. 4 seed, forced the Lady Lions into six turnovers during the spurt.
Lindenwood threatened only once in the second half when Shannon Malek’s jumper with 14:25 left pulled the Lady Lions within 41-31.
Hunt, who finished with 12 points, then sparked a 20-4 run with six points. A 3-pointer by Kelly Hayes with 7:39 to play pushed Union on top 60-35.
Malek topped Lindenwood with 17 points.
Kim McLeod scored 22 points and handed out five assists as Simon Fraser of British Columbia (22-7) raced away from East Texas Baptist (19-9).
McLeod’s 3-point field goal with 6:57 left in the opening half broke a 20-20 tie and sent The Clan on to a 37-27 lead at the break.
Jackie Bailey, who topped East Texas Baptist with 19 points, scored the Lady Tigers’ first 16 points of the second half.
A basket by Bailey with 13:29 to play cut the Lady Tigers’ deficit to 51-44.
A 3-point play by Megan Scott, who had 16 points for Simon Fraser, ignited a 13-3 run that left The Clan ahead 64-47 with 7:58 left.
Antasha Jones and Nicole Stovall combined for 51 points to spark Xavier (25-4) to a come-from-behind victory over Salem-Teikyo, W.Va., (26-3).
Twelfth-seeded Xavier put the game away with a 15-6 run in the second half capped by Stovall’s basket with 3:25 left that made the score 80-64.
Salem, making its first tourney appearance, made just one field goal during the stretch.
Xavier shot just 28 percent from the floor during the first half but sank 18 of 19 free throws and trailed only 36-34 at the half.
Jones led Xavier with 30 points and Stovall added 21.
Charlotte Powell paced Salem with 24 points and Nakita Robinson had 20.
Andrea Deaton scored 27 points to lead ninth-seeded Campbellsville past Rockhurst.
Rockhurst (24-7) scored the game’s first basket but the Lady Tigers scored the next 13 points.
Campbellsville (27-6) led 37-22 at the half and extended its edge to 49-29 on a Deaton layup with 13:37 left.
Shannon Wathen added 16 for Campbellsville.
Rockhurst was led by Cindy Grant with 20 points.
Vivian Johnson led a balanced scoring attack as fifth-seeded Southwestern Oklahoma beat St. Vincent.
The Lady Bulldogs (28-4) scored 15 straight points early in the second half to put the game away.
Johnson had 16 points and also led the rebounding with 18. Andreana Robinson had 15 points for the Lady Bulldogs.
St. Vincent (26-7) was topped by Richelle McAdoo’s nine points.
Cynthia Alexander scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to power No. 2 seed Auburn-Montgomery past Voorhees.
Alexander made 11 of 16 shots from the floor and the Lady Senators (34-2) shot 53 percent from the field by getting inside shots against their smaller opponents.
Samantha Tomlinson had 21 points and three blocked shots.
Elnora Jeter led Voorhees (21-14) with 18 points and Alissia Reese contributed 13. The losers shot just 23 percent from the field.