Mar 03, 2017

Bruins Season Comes To A Close in First Round of NCAA Div. III Tournament

A Winning Tradition

 
  • NCAA D-III National Champions (2009)
  • Three NCAA "Final Four" appearances (2009, 2012, 2015)
  • Six NCAA "Elite 8" appearances (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015)
  • Nine NCAA "Sweet 16" appearances (2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016)
  • 12 NCAA National Tournament appearances in 16 years (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • 11 Northwest Conference Championships (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016)
  • 23 straight winning seasons (1994-2016)
  • 12 Top 25 national rankings (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Three NCAA Division III National Coaches of the Year
  • Six NCAA Division III Region Coaches of the Year
  • 11 Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 18 All-Americans
  • One Academic All-American
  • Three Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Finalists (Justine Benner - 2015, Keisha Gordon - 2012, Katy Campbell - 2008)
  • One Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Winner (Kristen Shielee - 2009)
  • One George Fox Pasero Team of the Year (2009)
  • One Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year Award (Scott Rueck - 2009 finalist)
 

TACOMA, Wash. --- It was a battle until the end Friday night, as the George Fox women's basketball team took on the Whitman Blues in the First Round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Blues escaped the Bruins in a tightly contested 76-72 game.

Recap:
The Blues jumped on the Bruins in the opening minutes, using a 13-2 run in the first six minutes of the first quarter. Both teams didn't start the game shooting well from the field, but it was the Blues who made most of their opportunities.

Whitman went into the second quarter with a 17-6 lead.

After trailing by as much as 16 in the second quarter, the Bruins marched back with a run of their own.

The run started after the Bruins trailed 26-10 at the 6:25 mark. Haley Strowbridge got the Bruins going on a wide open three, and Kylin Collman and Bailey McDevitt both chipped in for four points apiece. The duo of Collman and McDevitt helped the Bruins go into the half down by four, 29-25.

The second half was polar opposite of the first, as both teams traded baskets with each other for the final 20 minutes of the game. Each run the Bruins made, the Blues made sure to answer. Kaycee Creech hit a huge three at the 7:23 mark in the third quarter to bring the Bruins within two, 37-35. The Blues were quick to answer, scoring six straight points to distance themselves once again. Creech was wonderful in the third quarter, leading both teams with eight points.

George Fox entered the final quarter down by eight, but were quick to score after Kimberly Frost hit a three in the first 18 seconds. Tavin Headings also caught fire from beyond the arc, as the sophomore hit back-to-back threes to put the Bruins down four, 63-59. Whitman continued to answer the call, as the Blues refused the let the Bruins gain any momentum.

In the final two minutes, the Bruins' Frost hit a big three to make it a 68-71 game which set the stage for a tying three by Headings' with 47 second remaining. The tie, 71-71, marked the first since early in the game but the Blues' Chelsi Brewer hit the decisive three 17 seconds later. The Bruins were forced to put the Blues on the free throw line, and Whitman's Casey Poe sealed the deal with a pair to give the Blues a 76-72 victory.

Top Performers:
The Bruins had four players in double figures, but it was the seniors who led the scoring. Frost led the team with 15 points and seven assists, while Creech chipped in for 13. Headings ended her night with 11 points and Kaitlin Jamieson recorded 10 points and seven rebounds.

Frost ends her career at George Fox fifth All-Time in Career Steals with 210 and ninth All-Time in Career Assists with 270. She will also leave with the second and fourth best Single-Season Steals marks in the program's history. Frost was named All-Northwest Conference second team.

Creech ends her four years holding the 10th best Single-Season 3-point percentage at .400. Creech received an honorable mentions from the conference her senior season.

What It Means:
The Bruins conclude their 13th NCAA Div. III Tournament appearance in program history. They also finish the season with their 24th straight winning season and fourth straight 20-plus win season ending with an overall record of 21-6.