Phoenix wins CAA ti­tle, earns first NCAA berth

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINTONPOST.COM/SPORTS -

Lau­ren Brown scored 17 points, Shay Burnett had a dou­ble-dou­ble, and Elon beat James Madi­son, 78-60, on Satur­day night in the Colonial Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship game in Har­rison­burg, Va., to earn its first trip to the NCAA tour­na­ment.

Burnett had 14 points, 10 re­bounds and six as­sists. Essence Bau­com added 16 points and Malaya John­son had 14 for top-seeded Elon (27-6), which shot 53 per­cent from the floor.

Pre­cious Hall scored 32 points on 10-for-33 shoot­ing to lead No. 2 seed James Madi­son (24-8). The Dukes shot just 23 per­cent (18 for 79) from the field but made 20 of 25 free throws (80 per­cent). They shot 57 per­cent in their semi­fi­nal win against Drexel.

James Madi­son won the past three CAA championships and had beaten the Phoenix in all seven con­fer­ence matchups.

TEXAS SOUTH­ERN 70, GRAM­BLING STATE 66: South­west­ern Ath­letic Con­fer­ence tour­na­ment MVP Joyce Ken­ner­son poured in 29 points, in­clud­ing the clinch­ing free throw with 4.7 sec­onds left, to lead Texas South­ern to its first NCAA tour­na­ment berth in Hous­ton.

“It is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for our univer­sity for peo­ple to see Texas South­ern Univer­sity and our young ladies,” Coach Johnetta Hayes-Perry said. “Th­ese ladies have had a few firsts this year, and I’m ex­cited to be a part of their first op­por­tu­nity.”

Texas South­ern (23-9), seeded sec­ond, ended the 12-game win­ning streak of the top-seeded and SWAC co-cham­pion Gram­bling State (18-14) by scor­ing the last seven points of the game.

TOLEDO 82, NORTH­ERN ILLI­NOIS 71: Mikaela Boyd scored a ca­reer-high 27 points and grabbed 14 re­bounds to lead the sixth-seeded Rock­ets in the MidAmer­i­can Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship in Cleve­land.

Toledo earned its first trip to the NCAA tour­na­ment since 2001.

Olivia Cun­ning­ham added 20 points for Toledo (25-8), which took down de­fend­ing MAC tour­na­ment cham­pion Buf­falo in the semi­fi­nals.

“I’m just so proud of our kids be­cause we didn’t have a MAC player of the week all sea­son long on our team,” Toledo Coach Tri­cia Cul­lop said.

Ally Lehman led North­ern Illi­nois (21-11) with 22 points, six re­bounds and six as­sists.

HAMP­TON 52, BETHUNECOOKMAN 49: Jephany Brown and Mikayla Sayle each scored 10 points to lead the Pi­rates (19-12) to the Mid-Eastern Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship over the Wild­cats (21-9) in Nor­folk.

Ge­or­gianna Gil­beaux made a free throw with 10 sec­onds left to give Hamp­ton a three-point lead; the Wild­cats missed a po­ten­tially ty­ing three-pointer with two sec­onds left, and Gil­beaux got the re­bound to se­cure the win.

MON­TANA STATE 62, IDAHO STATE 56: Pey­ton Fer­ris scored 23 points to help the topseeded Bob­cats (25-6) claim the Big Sky tour­na­ment in Reno, Nev.

Mon­tana State earned its first NCAA tour­na­ment berth since 1993. The Ben­gals (19-14) jumped to a 12-2 lead in the first seven min­utes.

WESTERN KEN­TUCKY 67, SOUTH­ERN MIS­SIS­SIPPI 56: In Birm­ing­ham, Ala., the Top­pers (27-6) won their sec­ond Con­fer­ence USA tour­na­ment ti­tle in three years and ride a 12-game win­ning streak into the NCAA tour­na­ment after claim­ing the au­to­matic bid. They got off to a fast start in this one, mak­ing 17 of 32 first-half shots and build­ing a 4124 half­time lead.

The Golden Ea­gles fin­ished 2310.

LONG BEACH STATE 56, SANTA BAR­BARA 55: Anna Kim scored 15 points, and Madi­son Mont­gomery drained a clutch three-pointer late in the fourth quar­ter to clinch an NCAA tour­na­ment berth for the 49ers (23-10) in the Moun­tain West ti­tle game in Ana­heim. The Gau­chos fin­ished 16-16. NEW MEX­ICO STATE 63, SEAT­TLE 48: The Ag­gies (24-6) won their third con­sec­u­tive Western Ath­letic Con­fer­ence tour­na­ment in Las Ve­gas. The Redhawks (15-17) earned a spot in the Women’s NIT. New Mex­ico State held Seat­tle to 18 points in the first half.

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