Saints can't slow No. 2 Patriots in season-ending loss
MOORE, Okla. - Central Christian College of the Bible got past their first-round matchup for the second time in six days, but couldn't overcome second-ranked Arlington Baptist College in a 123-65 loss in the semifinals of the NCCAA Division II Southwest Region Tournament on Friday.
Top-seeded Arlington Baptist (18-10), who went on to win the region title with an 86-73 victory over host Randall University on Saturday, came out blazing against the fifth-seeded Saints on Friday. The Patriots ended the first quarter with a 37-11 advantage and stayed in control throughout. They took a 66-32 lead into halftime and led 97-53 entering the fourth quarter.
Arlington Baptist shot a staggering 23-for-51 (45.1 percent) from 3-point range and finished 47 percent from the field. The Saints hit only 36 percent of their shots and committed 24 turnovers.
Kylie Hayes and Sara Dressler led Central Christian with 17 points each. Katelynn Frazier scored 15 points and dished out six assists.
On Thursday, the Saints were in a battle with Manhattan Christian, a team they knocked off a week earlier, for most of the first quarter until a 3-pointer by Hayes broke an 18-18 tie with 1:23 left to play in the period. Victoria Cruz hit another 3 to make it 24-18 and Central Christian cruised from there to a 76-60 win in the tournament's first round.
Taylor Cunningham led all scorers with 18 points, while dishing out seven assists. Frazier and Hayes scored 16 points each for the Saints, who shot 10-for-23 from behind the arc.
On Friday, the All-Southwest Region team was announced with Cunningham earning second team honors and Hayes earning honorable mention recognition.
The careers of three Saints seniors - Hayes, Cunningham, and Frazier - came to a close on Saturday. Hayes finishes her four-year career with 665 career points, while Cunningham finished with 744 points in her final two seasons as a Saint after transferring in from St. Cloud Tech. Frazier ended her career with 1,306 points in four years, which ranks third all-time on the CCCB Women's Basketball career scoring list.
The Saints finished the 2016-17 season with a record of 14-16 overall and 5-3 (third) in the Midwest Christian College Conference.