Defending national champion Drury is one step away from a return trip to the NCAA-II Elite Eight after defeating fifth seed Lake Superior State 79-61 late Sunday in the semifinals of the Midwest Regional at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.
The Panthers (27-3) will take on sixth-seed Michigan Tech (24-7) in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. championship game. The winner will advance to the Elite Eight, beginning March 26 through the 29th at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. Drury defeated Michigan Tech 76-62 in last year’s regional semis on its way to its first NCAA-II title.
Kameron Bundy scored 17 points to lead four Drury players in double-figures as the Panthers won their 25th consecutive game at The O’Reilly Family Center and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third time in the program’s history (also in 2004 and ’13).
__________________________________________________________________________________________________Amber Dvorak and Sanayika Shields each posted double-doubles and top seeded Drury rolled into the NCAA-II Midwest Regional finals with a 78-58 victory over fifth seed Quincy in the semifinals Sunday afternoon. Dvorak had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Shields added 14 points and 13 rebounds as the Lady Panthers held a commanding 49-29 final advantage on the boards against the Hawks, who had defeated Drury 82-79 in Quincy on Jan. 30.
The Lady Panthers moved to 26-3 and will take on sixth-seed Wayne State in Monday’s 7 p.m. title game at The O’, where Drury has gone 14-1 this season and won eight straight. Wayne State (23-7) knocked off No. 2 seed Lewis 87-80 in Sunday’s other semifinal. It will be Drury’s sixth appearance in an NCAA-II regional final, joining those in 2003, ’04, ’06, ’07 and ’10, and is the first for the Lady Panthers in Springfield since 2006.
The Drury-Wayne State winner will advance to the NCAA-II Elite Eight, which will be played March 25-26 and 28 in Erie, Pa.