CENTRAL, S.C. – Southern Wesleyan women's basketball is headed back to the NCCAA National Tournament after a 70-60 win over Bob Jones in the South Region Tournament Championship on Friday night.
The Warriors trailed for most of the first half as Bob Jones connected on 6 of 11 from downtown led by Hannah Tompkins perfect 4 for 4 performance. SWU battled back to take the lead for good on a jumper by Kristen Smith with 3:37 left in the half to put SWU on top 28-27. That started a 15-0 run that carried into the second half.
In the second half, Bob Jones turned the ball over on their first three possessions as the Warriors turned those into five points to push their lead out to 41-29. The Bruins made several runs to creep back in. A quick six point burst cut the lead in half to 46-40 with 13:01 to go. Christiana Perkins answered with a three of her own to push the lead back to nine.
The lead grew to 15 at 60-45 with 6:11 to go but the Bruins again came crawling back. A triple by Maggi Ford brought the Bruins back to within seven at 64-57 with 2:22 to play. A timeout by the Warriors was followed by a missed shot and an offensive rebound by Bob Jones. On the ensuing possession Christiana Perkins was whistled for a foul and then a technical. Tompkins knocked down both technical free throws to cut the lead to five but Kourtney Hoefler missed both of her free throws and the Warriors connected on two of their own from the stripe on the next possession.
SWU made 12 from beyond the arc for the second straight game, the only two games all season the Warriors have hit double digits in three pointers made. Bri Seda led the team with 17 points and made one of the 12 triples. Perkins added four threes and 14 points. She also grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the team, good for her eighth double-double of the season.
Overall six different players made a three for the Warriors including two from Kristen Smith off the bench. Smith finished with 10 points. Brooke Strickland made three threes and finished with nine points. Chelsie Waters also added nine points and six assists.
Bob Jones connected on nine from beyond the arc led by Tompkins' four. Tompkins led the Bruins with 15 points. Maggi Ford added three threes and finished with 10 points. Kourtney Hoefler also added 10 points.
The Bruins shot 38 percent from the floor overall as the Warriors connected on 42.6 percent. The Warriors capitalized on 16 Bruin turnovers, scoring 21 points. SWU turned it over just seven times, a season low.
Bob Jones led by as much as nine in the first half, holding a 24-15 lead with 8:29 to play in the half. Tompkins hit all four of her threes in the first 11 minutes as the Bruins made five of their nine during that span.
The Warriors will head to the NCCAA National Tournament for the second straight year. Last year SWU finished 7th. The bracket and seeds are expected to be announced on Sunday. Play will begin on Wednesday with four quarterfinal games on both the men's and women's sides.