JOPLIN, MO. —
NCCAA Women’s Division II Player of the Year Tanya Bowens poured in a game-high 26 points as Kentucky Christian earned a 69-54 victory over North Central University (Minneapolis, Minn.) in the opening game of the NCCAA Women’s Division II National Basketball Championship on Thursday.
Bowens, a 5-foot-6 senior guard from Louisa, scored 14 points in the second half as the Lady Knights extended on their 36-25 halftime lead.
Second-team All-American Sharonda Jones, a 5-7 senior forward, added 13 points for Kentucky Christian while Jessica Marshall, Monica Stevens and Jerrah Epling added six each.
The Lady Knights scored the first five points of the game and ended the first half with an 11-4 run started by Epling’s second 3-pointer and capped by a pair of Bowens free throws with eight seconds left.
Kentucky Christian (19-10) led by as much as 17 in the second half with less than a minute left in the game.
The Lady Knights advance to play the winner between No. 4 seed Arlington, Texas Baptist College and No. 5 seed Lancaster, Pa., Bible College in the winners’ bracket semifinals today at 6 p.m.
North Central University is 11-16.