Queen Bees battle way into MCC title game


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Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2013, 9:52 pm
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OSKALOOSA, Iowa – Once the jitters were worked out, the St. Ambrose University Queen Bees were able to go to work on not only hosting William Penn, but on building their resume for a run at a spot in the NAIA Div. II National Tournament.

The Queen Bees fell behind by eight points in the first five minutes of the game, but settled down to run away with a 77-66 victory in the Midwest Collegiate Conference Women's Basketball Tournament semifinal clash at the Penn Gym.

The third-seeded Queen Bees (24-6) will now face top-seeded and nationally 20th-ranked Grand View (20-6) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Des Moines for the tourney title. That winner earns the MCC's automatic bid into the following week's national tournament.

SAU, which is not guaranteed an at-large berth even with the glossy record, lost both meetings with GVU this season by a total of three points. The Queen Bees lost in Des Moines 66-64 in overtime and 57-56 at home.

"I haven't thought about that game yet. We're going to enjoy this on the ride home and once we get back we'll get to work on that game,'' said SAU coach Krista VanHauen. "We have the confidence we can play with them, but we know it's going to be a dog-fight. … Everyone needs to bring their best game and we need to get defensive stops and execute.''

Sunday's semifinal vs. the second-seeded Lady Statesmen (19-10) was a dog-fight, too, especially when the Queen Bees fell behind 12-4 at the 15:21 mark.

"Our kids were nervous and that's going to happen, especially in a semifinal game and they knew what was on the line,'' said VanHauen, whose club battled back for a 30-28 halftime lead. "Once we got that nervous energy out of us, we settled in and played our game. Pretty much the entire first half we had that nervous energy. In the second half, we relaxed more and let the game come to us.''

SAU had four players in double-digit scoring. Senior Sammy Saladino led that barrage with a double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds. Lauren Cash had 19 points, hitting hitting 3-of-4 3-pointers and making all six free throw attempts. Former North Scott prep Ashley Dexter had 10 as did freshman Devan Griffin, the former Geneseo standout who also hauled down nine rebounds.

"That's huge,'' said VanHauen of the scoring balance that also included nine points from Lindsay Stopa.

Dexter, Cash and Saladino dished out six, five and four assists, respectively. Saladino, who was 10-for-12 at the free-throw line, also blocked three shots.

"What a game for Sammy,'' said VanHauen. "That's a senior leading us who doesn't want her season to end.''





St. Ambrose 77, William Penn 66
ST. AMBROSE (24-6)
Stopa 2-7 3-4 2 3 9, Jensen 1-4 0-1 1 2 2, Saladino 5-12 10-12 3 15 20, Dexter 2-6 5-6 3 5 10, Cash 5-14 6-6 1 8 19, Griffin 5-10 0-0 2 9 10, Steger 3-8 0-0 1 2 7, Masterson 0-0 0-0 0 0 0, Greiner 0-1 0-0 0 1 0, Brummel 0-0 0-0 0 0 0. Totals 23-62 24-29 13 49 77.

WILLIAM PENN (19-10)
Thomas 2-8 6-8 3 18 10, Martin 5-13 2-4 3 4 12, Reed 1-10 0-0 4 7 2, Pritchett 4-13 4-4 0 4 14, Golomski 5-13 2-2 2 1 15, Abens 2-4 0-0 2 0 4, Evangelista 1-2 0-0 3 2 2, May 1-2 0-0 1 1 3, Kreuser 1-2 2-2 2 3 4, Evans 0-0 0-0 0 1 0, Ficek 0-3 0-0 1 0 0, Kieres 0-0 0-0 0 0 0. Totals 22-70 16-20 21 43 66.
Halftime: SAU 30-28. 3s: SAU 7-17 (Cash 3-4, Stopa 2-3, Dexter 1-3, Steger 1-5, Griffin 0-1, Greiner 0-1); WPU 6-15 (Golomski 3-7, Pritchett 2-2, May 1-1, Reed 0-1, Abens 0-1, Evangelista 0-1, Ficek 0-2). Assists: SAU 18 (Dexter 6, Cash 5, Saladino 4); WPU 15 (Martin 6, Pritchett 4). Turnovers: SAU 11, WPU 12. Blocks: SAU 4 (Saladino 3, Griffin); WPU 1 (Golomski). Steals: SAU 7 (Griffin 3, Dexter 2, Cash 2); WPU 3 (Thomas, Pritchett, Golomski).












 



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