The Newman men’s basketball team received the program’s first bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament on Sunday.
The Jets, who earned a No. 5 seed, will play No. 4 seed Midwestern State on Saturday in Denver in the South Central Regional hosted by Metro State in Denver.
Newman, 20-7, is one of two teams from the Heartland Conference to earn bids, along with St. Mary’s. Newman coach Mark Potter was named the Heartland coach of the year.
Emporia State wins MIAA Tournament — The Emporia State women (21-8) got a team-high 22 points from forward Merissa Quick, who played only 19 minutes due to foul trouble but still led the Hornets to at 67-51 win over Central Missouri in the MIAA Tournament championship at Kansas City, Mo.
Quick picked up her fourth foul with about eight minutes to play. She made up for her absence by scoring eight straight points in the final three minutes to put the game away.
“It always feels great to win, and if I’m a contributing factor in that it feels even better. Every player wants to do everything they can to get the ‘W.’”
Emporia State will play MIAA rival Washburn on Friday in Topeka in the first round of the Cental Regional.
Emporia State had plenty of help from outside as well. Rachel Hanf (17 points), Laura Patrick (eight points) and Rheanna Egli (10 points) combined to make eight three-pointers.
“Rachel and Laura have shot the three well all year long.. when you’re able to play inside out and score from the perimeter and the paint, it really opened some things up offensively,” Emporia State coach Jory Collins said.
Central Missouri, meanwhile, had no such offensive flow to speak of. The Jennies (21-5) lost the lead midway through the first half and never got it back.
“It’s different, getting back into your hotel at 11:30 after a game and then having to turn around and spring forward and losing an hour there, but it’s been an emotional roller coaster,” Central Missouri coach Dave Slifer said. “Unlike a lot of teams that lost this weekend we have another chance, and we’re going to be able to go to a regional tournament and see if we can get something accomplished.”
Keuna Flax led the Jennies with 21 points, and Nicole Caddell finished with 10.