Southeastern women's basketball makes NCAA tournament as 15 Seed
HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana University women’s basketball team’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance will see the Lady Lions take on Iowa in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Lady Lions (21-9), the Southland Conference regular season and tournament champions, are the No. 15 seed in will be facing an Iowa team (28-6) that won the Big Ten Conference Tournament and was ranked No. 2 in the most recent AP Top 25 and third nationally in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Top 25.
“This is a huge moment for our program, our university and our community,” Southeastern head coach and 2022-23 Southland Conference Coach of the Year Ayla Guzzardo commented. “We’re a tough team and we’re excited to have this opportunity. We’ll go into the NCAA Tournament with a good plan and our team will buy into it fully, which is all you can ask.”
Southeastern punched its ticket to the Big Dance with a 66-57 win over Lamar, rallying from an 11-point deficit, in the SLC Tournament championship game. All-Tournament selection and Lady Lion sophomore Taylor Bell scored 17 of her game-high 22 points in the second half, which saw the Lady Lions outscore the Cardinals, 39-21.
Southland Tournament MVP Hailey Giaratano chipped in with 15 points in the win over LU, a day after banking in the game-winner with 0.4 seconds left in a 60-58 overtime victory over Texas A&M-Commerce in the semifinals. Jen Pierre led SLU with 19 points in the semifinals and 11 rebounds in the finals.
Iowa features the nation’s highest scoring offense, averaging 87.5 points per contest. Two-time Big Ten Player of the Year Caitlin Clark leads the high-powered Hawkeyes, averaging 27.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. The junior has a NCAA record 38 games of 25-plus points, five-plus rebounds and five-plus assists. The Wooden Award favorite is one of three Iowa players averaging in double figures, along with Monika Czinano (17.3 ppg) and McKenna Warnock (11.0 ppg).
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