JACKSON, Tenn. – Oklahoma City University will begin pursuit of its sixth women’s basketball national championship by facing Montana Tech at 1:45 p.m. March 16 in the NAIA Division I Tournament at Oman Arena.
Five-time national champion OCU has previously won crowns in 1988, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. The fourth-ranked Stars (25-3) advanced to the tournamenthttp://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/naia/sports/w-baskbl/auto_pdf/DIWBB_Bracket_39.pdf as the Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season championship and grabbed one of four No. 1 seeds.
OCU entered this season tied with Union (Tenn.) for the most wins in NAIA women’s college basketball over the past 10 seasons.
The Stars advanced to the national tournament for the 14th consecutive year in OCU’s history. OCU holds a 47-11 all-time record in 17 appearances for the third most wins in the event’s history.
“We believe we are one of those eight teams you would think could win the national championship,” OCU coach Rob Edmisson said. “It will take many factors going our way to pull that off. You need to get the right seed and the right matchup.”
Lauren Gober, a 6-foot-2 sophomore from Newcastle, Okla., posts team highs with 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.68 blocked shots a game as well as a 42.8 percent 3-point shooting percentage. Gober earned first-team all-SAC acclaim.
Donica Cosby, a 5-8 senior from Coldwater, Miss., adds 13.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.04 steals a game. Cosby also made first-team all-SAC.
Taylor Booze, a 5-8 junior from Duncanville, Texas, records 9.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.18 steals per contest. Booze was third-team all-conference and the SAC co-defensive player of the year. Starr Fairbanks, a 6-2 senior from Cincinnati, became third-team all-SAC and adds 11.0 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. Desiree Jeffries, a 6-foot sophomore from Oklahoma City, chips in 10.4 points and 4.9 rebounds a game. She was honorable-mention all-SAC.
The Stars lead NAIA Division I with a 47.9 percent field-goal percentage as well as an average victory margin of 29.0 points a game.
Montana Tech will make its second national-tournament trip after picking up an at-large bid. Taesha Bigbee, a 5-9 senior, leads Montana Tech with 15.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.52 steals a game.
For ticket information, go here http://www.cityofjackson.net/venues/index.htm.
Fans can follow the tournament via live audio by clicking here mms://media.okcu.edu/athletics. Greg Merick and Andrew Himes will have the call.
The first 30 games of the Championships will be video-streamed live on the NAIA web site. Click here http://www.watchnaia.com/liveEvents/liveEvents.dbml?db_oem_id=5901 for details. The national championship game will air on national television March 22 on CBS College Sports Network http://www.cbscollegesports.com/.