AP NEWS

Lady Warriors named No. 1 overall seed in NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Selection Show

March 12, 2019 GMT

MOUNT CARMEL -- Soon the Wabash Valley College women’s basketball team will be making the lengthy trip to Lubbock, Texas for the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Lady Warriors enjoyed a tremendous regular season, finishing 31-0 and as the No. 1 team in the country and having clinched a berth in the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament as champions of District P.

District championships and regular season records are nice, but the furthest extent of Wabash Valley’s aspirations are just beginning. The brackets were announced on Monday morning and the committee recognized Wabash Valley’s success accordingly, anointing head coach Jack Trosper’s team as the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

The Lady Warriors enjoyed a highly successful regular season campaign, averaging 99 ppg and allowing just 57.6 ppg. Impressively, Wabash Valley is averaging 16.2 steals per game, a number that exemplifies just how the Lady Warriors are successful. They’re led by sophomore floor general Marie Hunter, who runs the show for the Lady Warriors. The 5-foot-6 Marion, Ark. native averages 11.4 ppg and a team-high 4.4 assists per game.

With the brackets unveiled, Wabash Valley (31-0) was positioned as the top seed and will make their tournament debut against the victor of No. 16 seed Cochise and No. 17 Florida Southwestern on Tuesday, March 19 at 2 p.m. Cochise enters the tournament on a 19-game winning streak with a 28-3 overall record. The Apaches have held teams to average of 46 points per game on the season, posing an interesting matchup against the Lady Warriors with their polar opposite styles of play. Florida Southwestern enters with a 29-3 record and were one of eight at-large selections to the tournament. The Bucs lost their final game of the season against No. 2 overall seed Gulf Coast State 91-75.

“I’m most looking forward to seeing our ladies compete at the highest level,” coach Trosper spoke of his team on the selection show. ”[There’s] Plenty of quality teams at the National Tournament. There’s going to be a lot of great competition and I’m excited to see how we do while playing those great teams because there’s a lot of high level competition around the country, a lot of great teams out there, a lot of well-coached teams. I most look forward to seeing how we stack up and see our ladies compete against the best and kind of see where they can handle themselves.”

If the Lady Warriors are to advance, they could face preseason No. 1 New Mexico Junior College. The Thunderbirds were given an at-large bid following their 69-65 loss to Odessa College in their Regional Final. New Mexico boasts a 26-5 overall record.

As aforementioned, Gulf Coast State was selected as the No. 2 overall seed and were positioned on the opposite side of the bracket from the Lady Warriors. Wabash Valley defeated GCS 68-65 in the Vincennes Classic back on Nov. 16.

Odessa (23-7) was selected as the No. 5 overall seed, with Angelina (29-3) selected as the No. 4 overall seed. If the higher seeds prevail and the Lady Warriors advance, Wabash Valley would likely face the winner of these two teams with a trip to the championship game on the line.

The tournament will run March 18 through March 23 in Lubbock. If Wabash Valley College prevails in the tournament it would be the program’s first National Championship.

For the remainder of the bracket, further times and additional information, the NJCAA website should have a layout posted within the next day or two.