The Lady Hornets have earned their 20th trip to the NCAA Tournament and will be the #7 seed in the NCAA Division II Central Regional Tournament and will play second seeded Southwestern Oklahoma in the first round at Gross Memorial Colisuem in Hays, Kan. It is the 20th time in the last 23 years that Emporia State has qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
This will be a rematch of the first game of the season for both teams. The Lady Hornets defeated the Lady Bulldogs 68-60 on November 9 in Shawnee, Okla. This will be the second time the two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament with Emporia State taking a 97-65 win in the 2014 regional. Overall the Lady Hornets lead the series 8-3.
Emporia State is 22-8 on the year and went 13-6 in the MIAA. The Lady Hornets are 5-2 against teams in the regional and are the only team to defeat the top two seeds in the regional. Southwestern Oklahoma is 30-1 on the season and went 22-0 in the Great American Conference. They lost to Emporia State in their only match-up against a Central Regional qualifier this season.
The Lady Hornets are one of five MIAA teams to make the regional field. In addition to Emporia State and host Fort Hays State, defending national champion Central Missouri, Pittsburg State and Lindenwood will be in action in Hays this weekend.
The Lady Hornets are 40-18 in NCAA Tournament play and are ranked fourth all-time among active Division II schools in total tournament wins. Emporia State has been to the Regional Championship 14 times, have made six trips to the Elite Eight, four to the Final Four, two national title game appearances and won the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship.
This will be the second time the Lady Hornets have played in Hays for the Central Regional. In their last trip to Gross Memorial Coliseum for the NCAA Tournament, Emporia State won the regional with a 66-61 win over Fort Hays State in front of 4,955 on the way to an eventual berth in the Final Four.
Game times and ticket information will be available on Monday afternoon.
NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Central Regional
Hosted by Fort Hays State University
First Round – Friday, March 15
Emporia State vs. Southwestern Oklahoma
Central Missouri vs. Lindenwood
Fort Hays State vs. Pittsburg State
Minn.-Duluth vs. MSU-Moorehead
Semifinals – Saturday, March 16
ESU/SWOSU vs. UCM/LWU
FHSU/PSU vs. UMD/MSUM
Championship – Monday, March 18
Courtesy: ESU Athletics