FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. – Chelsie Waters connected on three free throws with 0.4 seconds left to lift the Warriors to a 61-59 victory over Emmanuel in the NCCAA South Region Championship, sending SWU to the NCCAA National Tournament this week.
The Warriors advance to the NCCAA National Tournament that begins Wednesday in Winona Lake, Ind. hosted by Grace College. There will be eight teams in the tournament and each team is guaranteed three games over four days. SWU won the 2007 NCCAA National Championship, their only appearance in the tournament.
The Warriors were down by one, 59-58 after Emmanuel’s Michelle Wynn made a layup on the baseline with only seconds to play. Waters got the inbounds pass and raced up the court letting a shot fly from just inside half court. After a brief discussion the officials put 0.4 seconds back on the clock and awarded Waters three free throws after calling a foul on Wynn, which she calmly made.
Waters finished with 11 points including making 5 of 7 from the free throw line. Brooke Strickland led the team with 15 points and knocked down all three three-point attempts. The Warriors made 9 of 15 from beyond the arc and 12 of 17 from the foul line. They shot 44 percent from the floor.
Emmanuel’s Skye Rogers scored a game-high 22 points and made 8 of 13 from the floor as the Lions shot 39 percent from the floor. Emmanuel pulled down 14 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second-chance points. The Warriors had just five second-chance points.
Neither team was able to pull away in the slightest as the largest lead for either team was SWU by six. The lead changed hands 23 times and there were 15 ties, 11 in the second half. The largest lead in the second half was four points, by SWU.