SIOUX CITY, Iowa — NAIA No. 2 and top-seed Davenport (Mich.) has been making its opponents' defenses look average throughout the season and at the Division II women’s national tournament.
The Panthers entered the 32-team bracket averaging 84 points per game offensively, and showcased that prowess with final point tallies of 110 and 94 in their first two games at the Tyson Events Center.
NAIA No. 7 Hastings College’s defense, though, was more than up for the challenge.
The No. 2-seed Broncos rallied for 30-all tie at halftime, but couldn’t keep the pace as Davenport (33-1) pulled away in the second half of their elite eight game Saturday to earn a 70-52 win.
Despite the loss, Hastings head coach Carrie Hofstetter said that her defense couldn’t have given a better effort.
“Absolutely, I mean, we battled (Davenport) defensively. I thought we were tough. At the end, they hit a couple of shots and I think fatigue played a role in the last five minutes. But, the first half especially, we defended as well as anybody I’ve seen while they’ve been here or on film,” said Hofstetter, whose team finished the season at 28-5. “Our kids crashed the boards hard and battled defensively. We just couldn’t knock down shots when we needed to in the second half.”