(1) Marian (Ind.) vs. (2) Southeastern (Fla.)
An undefeated Southeastern (Fla.) Fire team was stunned by the Marian (Ind.) Knights during the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship on Saturday night at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
The first half near even scoring for both teams. At the end of the first quarter Southeastern scored 13 and Marian had 12. The second quarter was higher with Southeastern scoring 26 points and Marian scoring 24. Going into halftime Southeastern was ahead 39-36. This game was expected to be close, but Marian had a different idea coming out of halftime.
“It’s the first time we’ve played this team and we don’t really know their players individually, but after 20 minutes we got to know them,” junior Joana Soeiro said.
Marian executed their new game plan of closing out on shots, using their quickness and limiting Southeastern’s second chance shots for the remainder of the game.
The Knights kicked it in gear offensively by scoring 27 points coming out of the half compared to the Fire’s 10. Soeiro and junior Kellie Kirkhoff put up big points for the Knights. Soeiro made every shot she took. She was 8-8 from the field and 4-4 from the line making 24 total points. A career high for Soeiro. Kirkhoff was 7-17 from the field but ended the night with 21 total points.
Southeastern Head Coach Tim Hays talked about today’s game and how his team could have done better and didn’t adjust to Marian’s play like they normally with other teams.
“I don’t know what it was with our girls today, in particular, but we really did not come out with the same defensive intensity that we’ve had all year long,” Hays said.
Scoring 15 points each for the Fire was senior Bailey Hooker and senior Alyssa Ramos. Southeastern will end their season with a 28-1 record.
Marian advances to the semifinals and will play St. Francis on Monday at 6 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ESPN 3.