For the second time in as many days a No. 7 seed upended a No. 2 seed, as No 7 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) downed No. 2 Saint Xavier (Ill.), 68-43, in the first round of the 2014 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship, in Sioux City, IA. The Bobcats, who had lost three of their last five games entering the event, advance to play the winner of No. 3 Mayville State (N.D.) and No. 6 Cornerstone (Mich.) at 12 p.m. on Friday.
College of the Ozarks entered the championship as one of the NAIA’s most experienced teams, with 20 trips in the 23-year history of the event. With the win, the Bobcats advance to at least the second round for the 11th-straight year, with their last first round loss coming in 2003 against Grand View (Iowa), 74-72.
Freshman guard Alice Heinzler led all scorers with 18 points in the game. The Republic, Mo., native has scored in double-digits 24 times this season, including a season-best 28 points against fellow national championship qualifier Oklahoma Wesleyan in the semifinals of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.