Sioux City, Iowa- For the final time this season, the Hastings College women’s basketball team took the court, taking on the Saint Xavier (Ill.) Cougars in the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship Quarterfinals on Saturday night, falling to the Cougars 72-62.
The first quarter started well for the Broncos, with Mackenzie Willicott (JR/Blue Hill, NE) made a pair of free throws followed by second chance shot in the paint to give the Broncos a quick 4-0 lead. For the remainder of the quarter, Hastings and Saint Xavier traded buckets with a 17-15 advantage for the Cougars after 10 minutes.Hastings faced a harsh defense in the second quarter, as the only points in the second quarter came off a Emma Grenfell (SO/York, NE) three-pointer and a free throw by Gabby Grasso (SO/Omaha, NE). The Broncos were outscored 18-4 in the secord quarter and went into halftime facing a 33-19 deficit.
The Broncos started the second half on a 10-5 run with a pair of layups by Jelden and a pair of three-pointers by Jordan Johnson (SR/Fairbury, NE) and Shandra Farmer (SO/Hastings, NE) to get the game to a 38-29 lead for the Cougars. SXU answered back 14-2 run to take a 21-point lead over Hastings.
Hastings made one more push in the fourth quarter, trading buckets and keeping it close to Saint Xavier, but could not get hot enough to take a lead in the game. Three Broncos reached double-digits in scoring, as Johnson led the pack with 13 along with Farmer’s 11 and Jelden’s 10. The Broncos finished the season 27-6 with their furthest postseason run since making the all-GPAC semifinals in the 2015 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship.