Women's Basketball Team Headed to NAIA National Tournament  (2/28/07)

For the first time in the history of the women's basketball program, the Trolls claim the conference tournament championship and advance to the NAIA National Tournament. They earned the automatic bid to the 32-team national event with a 73-65 victory over Cardinal Stritch University in the conference championship game. 

The team will face the University of St. Francis (IN) on Thursday, March 8, at noon in the first round of the 16th Annual NAIA National Tournament held at the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena in Sioux City, Iowa. St. Francis (26-7), the No. 3 ranked team, received an at-large bid as the runner-up of the Mid-Central Conference tournament. 

A complete list of the tournament pairings and brackets and can be found on the NAIA national web site: http://naia.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl-div2/naia-w-baskbl-div2-body.html

The Trolls finished their regular season 14-16 overall and in second place (5-3) in the conference standings. In post-season play they posted a 59-39 victory over No. 3 Judson College in the semi-final round and then defeated No. 1 Cardinal Stritch University, 73-65, in the championship game. 

"I am thrilled with the victory," said Coach Liz Metcalfe. "It is a little unreal yet, but is starting to sink in. I am proud of the team as they played hard and rose to the challenge of the game."

The victory over Cardinal Stritch (25-5) is the first win against the Wolves in eight seasons. It also ended a 12-game winning-streak for the No. 15 nationally ranked opponent and handed them their first home loss of the season. 

The conference championship game was what final games should be as no more than five points separated the teams at any one point. With 3:30 left in the game Cardinal Stritch scored to take a 65-64 lead. That was the last time they held the lead and the last time they were allowed to score. The Trolls came up with the defensive stops they needed in the remaining minutes and were accurate from the free throw line to take control of the game and to post the upset win. 

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