|Photo by Robert H Kelly|
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Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications
KATY, TEXAS (March 11, 2017) The No. 1 ranked Central Arkansas Honey Bears outscored the No. 5 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders 62-44 in route to second appearance in the Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament final. Last season, the Honey Bears downed the number seven seed Sam Houston State 69-62 to claim the Southland Conference Tournament title and advance to the NCAA National Tournament. In the 2016 post-season, they fell to the Louisville Cardinals by the score of 87-60 in the first round. Central Arkansas improved their record to 20-1 in road/neutral games against Southland opponents over the past two seasons.
“We beat a very good Corpus team,” said Sugar Bears head coach Sandra Rushing, the Southland Coach of the Year. “This team found a way to win. They showed a lot of heart and a lot of passion.”
The No. 3 Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks outscored Lamar in the first third and fourth periods to down the No. 2 Cardinals 62-48 to take the second semi-final game and secure their place in the tournament final. Obtaining their 20th appearance in the finals was led by the duo of Stevie Parker and Taylor Ross, who ponied up 34 of SFA’s 62 points. Parker, who chipped in 14 points, added 13 rebounds, with all but one on the defensive end of the court. Adrienne Lewis added 10 points in the winning effort.
The Honey Bears and Ladyjacks have faced off twice this season, with Central Arkansas taking both games. On January 25, the game was played Conway with the Honey Bears winning by four (67-63). The next match-up came 31 days later, on February 25, with Central Arkansas coming out on top 70-58 in Nacogdoches. The last time the Ladyjacks advanced to the NCAA Tournament was 2006, where they fell to No. 4 seed Arizona State 80-61 in the Tucson Regional.
Tipoff for the title game is set for 12 p.m. CDT on Sunday, March 12, 2017.