SNU Fights Off Brescia 66-59, Will Play OCU for the National Title Tuesday Night

(JACKSON,TN) – Southern Nazarene University advanced to the NAIA National Championship game on Tuesday night with a 66-59 victory over Brescia University of Kentucky in the second game of the NAIA National Semifinals on Monday night.

The win sets up an all Oklahoma final as Oklahoma City won the night’s first semi-final contest, marking the third year in a row that these two teams have met in the championship game. SNU defeated OCU 71-70 last year for the 2003 NAIA National Championship.

Brescia gave SNU their best shot on Monday night, jumping out to a 10-4 lead early in the first half. The Crimson Storm would battle back and take their first lead at 19-16 with 8:25 to play in the first half. SNU forced 12 Brescia turnovers to six for the Crimson Storm and Southern Nazarene took a 36-28 lead into the locker room.

SNU would continue to build their lead in the second half and would be up by 12 points with 14:49 to play. However, Brescia would mount a comeback the next seven minutes. The Lady Bearcats started to chip away at SNU’s lead and pulled to within four points. A 3-pointer at the 7:22 mark by senior guard Kari Jo Edwards pulled Brescia to within one point.

Southern Nazarene would respond with a bucket by Bandegne Diop to put the Crimson Storm back up by three but was followed by two made free throws by Edwards. On the next trip down the floor, a three pointer by senior guard Misty Fenwick gave the Lady Bearcats their first lead since early in the first half at 58-56 with 5:00 minutes to play. Senior forward Ndeye Ndiaye came back with a basket on a turnover and Southern Nazarene eventually stretched their lead to the seven-point victory.

Southern Nazarene was led in scoring by Ndeye Ndiaye with a game high 25 points, five rebounds, and two blocks. Bandegne Diop followed her with 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks.
The Lady Bearcats put three players in double digit scoring, led by Jennifer Flener with 15 points and eight rebounds. She was followed by Kari Jo Edwards with 14 points and Misty Fenwick with 12 points. Brescia ends their season with a 30-6 record and their fourth consecutive national tournament appearance.

The Crimson Storm improves to 35-3 on the season and will meet 37-1 Oklahoma City for the National Title on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. from the Oman Arena. SNU and OCU have met three times already this season, with the Crimson Storm winning the first game in the Sawyer Center, 86-85. OCU would follow with a win at the Abe Lemons Arena 72-68 and would knock off SNU in the SAC Title game 75-64 at OCU as well.

The game can be heard live, worldwide over the internet at www.snu.edu/athletics. The pre-game show begins at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow evening.