BY KIT GRODE
PHOTOS BY SAM GENTRY
VIDEO BY SARA FISHMAN
The fifth game of round two in the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Champion saw first-seeded Davenport University (Mich.) dominate fourth-seeded Purdue University Calumet (Ind.) for a 110-77 victory. This is the Panthers’ tenth appearance at the championship, and they are looking to take the victory denied to them last year in their second-place finish to Indiana Wesleyan University.
“I’m going game-by-game. I think you have to,” said Mike Williams, Panthers’ head coach. “If you get caught looking ahead of anything you get yourself in trouble. Obviously you’re here for a reason—everybody knows that reason—but we don’t talk about it. We just take care of our business each day and hope to play well each game.”
The Panthers came in to the championship with a 32-1 overall record, having only lost a single game to Cornerstone. The Purdue Calumet Peregrines, in their second championship appearance, won their game against Oregon Tech 83-75 to advance to the second round for the first time.
Davenport quickly took the lead in the first half, leading 28-17 with 10 minutes remaining, but the Peregrines refused to roll over and let the Panthers bowl them over. Purdue Calumet fought back to put up more points and work around Davenport’s full-court press, but trailed 58-26 at the half.
“I think our 16-18 minutes is like about 25-30 because of the pace we play, so it might be a little deceiving, the minutes, because some teams walk it up the floor, but we’re trying to go high-octane the whole time,” Williams said. “The nice thing is we do have some depth; we’ve got some players that can play behind the starters.”
Davenport’s Tiesha Stokes put up 14 of the Panthers’ 58 points, and teammate Alison Bouman wasn’t far behind with 13 of her own. Stokes and Bouman also each grabbed five of Davenport’s 23 rebounds. Tierra Turner put up eight points for the Peregrines, and Brooklyn Short added a further seven.
Davenport came out of halftime to further push Purdue Calumet, both teams driving up the points. Stokes put up an additional 10 points in the second half to total out at 24, and Bouman added a total of 19 points. The Panthers came close to equaling the 112-point record that Southwestern hit earlier today, but fell short by two points.
Purdue Calumet’s Turner, Short and Kami Graber combined for 47 of the Peregrines’ 77 points. The Peregrines retrieved 36 rebounds to Davenport’s 45, and made 20 of 30 free throws for 66.67 percent.
The Panthers will next play the winner of the Hastings College and Indiana Wesleyan University matchup on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Catch up on Round 1 results:
Oregon Tech vs. Purdue Calumet – Peregrines Slip Away Late
Davenport (Mich.) vs. Ave Maria (Fla.) (Calif.) – No. 1 Davenport Dominates Ave Maria