Lady Barons' NAIA national tourney trip ends in first round to 'powerhouse'

Brewton-Parker College's second visit to the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Tournament was short-lived after the tournament's all-time winningest team, Southern Nazarene University of Bethany, Okla., eliminated the Lady Barons 75-40 in first-round action Wednesday at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn.

The Crimson Storm thus ended the Lady Barons' winningest season at 24-9 after Brewton-Parker hit just 17.9 percent of its first-half shots from the floor.

"We had a great year, but we just didn't play a good last game," Brewton-Parker coach Tommy Dalley said. "We didn't play our best game by far, and they played really well in the second half. We were out-manned."

Despite their first-half shooting woes and watching Southern Nazarene break the game open with a 12-0 run to take an 18-5 lead, the Lady Barons still only trailed SNU 28-19 at halftime.

However, the Crimson Storm forced 14 Brewton-Parker turnovers in the second half, 24 for the game, shot 60 percent from the floor in the half and outscored Brewton-Parker 47-21 after intermission to move into the second round Friday.

The Lady Barons made just 23.1 percent (12 of 52) of their field goals for the afternoon and were held without a double-digit scorer. Senior forward Tameka Oliver, senior guard Takara Solomon and freshman guard Tori Williams paced Brewton-Parker with eight points each. Oliver finished her Lady Barons career with a game-high 10 rebounds.

Southern Nazarene rode senior guard Sasha Seriogina's 6-for-9 shooting for a game-high 13 points. Junior center Ndeye Ndiaye added 12 points.

By week's end, the Crimson Storm had improved to 27-9 on the season and to 48-7 in its 12th NAIA tournament appearance - having won the national title five times, most recently in 1997 - and qualified for at least the semifinals for the 11th straight year.

"They are a powerhouse," Dalley said of the Crimson Storm. "They just had a certain attitude when they walked on the court, like they were the ones who had made it to the semifinals 10 straight times. We want to get to the level where we expect to win every time we compete."