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March 20, 2013

NJCAA WOMEN'S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: After scare, it's Blinn ... again

SALINA, Kan. — After surviving a scare in their opening game at the 2013 NJCAA Women's National Basketball Tournament, the Lady Cardinals have a day off today. They'll use it to begin preparing for a fourth meeting this season with Blinn College in the quarterfinals Thursday at 1 p.m.

The Lady Cardinals (33-1), the tournament's top seed and defending national champion, fell behind 20-6 to 16th-seeded Weatherford in the opening minutes Tuesday afternoon before rallying for a 75-70 win. It improved their season record to 33-1 and closed Weatherford's season at 25-6. The Lady Cardinals were a 93-69 winner against Weatherford back in November.

 

Shannon Smith pumped in 20 points to lead the Lady Cardinals. Krystle Henderson added 13 and Adut Bulgak and Roddricka Patton netted 10 each. Shlonte' Allen finished with nine.

 

Bulgak had a big game on the boards, grabbing 15 rebounds.

 

The Lady Cardinals hit 9 of 26 three-point attempts.

 

Blinn (32-3), the tournament's No. 9 seed, advanced to Thursday's quarterfinal matchup against the Lady Cardinals with a 79-72 win versus No. 8 seed Darton State.

 

As the 24-team, single-elimination tournament (for the first time), moves into its third day and the non-Texas side of the bracket, four teams will play their first games. Today's games are Central Arizona vs. Crowder, 1 p.m.; Southern Idaho vs. Chipola, 3 p.m.; Hutchinson vs. ASA, 5 p.m.; Walters State vs. Northwest Florida, 7 p.m.

 

Here are the seeds of the teams remaining in the tournament: TVCC (1), Central Arizona (2), Hutchinson (3), Gulf Coast (4), Shelton State (5), Walters State (6), Southern Idaho (7), Blinn (9), Chipola (10), Northwest Florida (11), Crowder (15), and ASA (19). Central Arizona, Hutchinson, Shelton State and Walters State have yet to play a game.

 

In Tuesday's other games, it was: ASA 74, Western Nebraska 68; Northwest Florida 57, Itawamba 46; Gulf Coast 62, Midland 57; and Shelton State 72, Williston State 57.

 

Tuesday's win against Weatherford ran the Lady Cardinals' national tournament record to 50-16.

 

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