ANDERSON, S.C. – The Trojan women’s basketball team has been seeded third in the NCAA’s Southeast Region and will face sixth-seeded Pfeiffer Friday at host Clayton State, as announced by the NCAA selection Committee Sunday night.
Friday’s contest will mark the eighth overall appearance by Anderson in the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship, and the first since the 2010 Southeast Regional hosted by Lander. The Trojans (23-8) will square off against the Lady Falcons (24-6), who entered the Conference Carolinas Tournament as the third seed before falling, 79-74, in overtime to Mount Olive in the tourney championship tilt Sunday afternoon.
The host Lakers (29-0) are ranked first in the nation and claimed their fourth Peach Belt title since 2005 with an 81-54 win past North Georgia on Sunday afternoon. Clayton State won the national championship it in 2011.
Pfeiffer out-lasted the Trojans, 85-77, in double-overtime at the Abney Athletic Center in the season opener for both teams back on Nov. 10. The Lady Falcons overcame a second-half, double-digit deficit to edge AU, as Brittany Cox notched a game-high 24 points, with guard Jodie Lemons adding 19 points and 11 boards. Senior forward Christina Harvey chipped in 16 points and guard Kellie Rhoney tallied 15 points and five assists.
Senior Amanda Parris, who injured her knee in AU’s win past Lincoln Memorial in the SAC tourney opener, scored a career-high 23 points on the strength of 8-of-16 shooting from the field to lead four Trojans in double figures. Sophomore point guard Sierra Simpson added 14 points and recorded a game-high six assists, while seniors Breonda Shannon and Alissa Diaz each chipped in 11 points. Shannon also pulled down a career-high 20 rebounds to complete the double-double.
Anderson won both the South Atlantic Conference regular season title with a sterling 14-4 record, while going 23-8 overall and the Trojans claimed their first-ever SAC Tournament Championship earlier in the afternoon. Heading into the NCAA Tournament, the Trojans have won eight of their last nine games.
Anderson is led by SAC Player of the Year and Tournament MVP Diaz’s 16.9 points per game average, while Shannon, who was named to the SAC All-Tournament Team, adds 8.2 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per contest.
The winner of Friday’s contest will advance to meet the winner of the No. 2 seed Limstone/No. 7 seed Barton game in Saturday’s semifinal round.
1 Clayton State
8 Mount Olive
5 USC Aiken