Winona Lake, IN: The #4 seeded Alice Lloyd College Lady Eagles opened their quest for an NCCAA National Championship on Wednesday, March 17th against the #5 seeded Ecclesia College Royals (AK). The Pippa Passes club came out of the locker room ready for action and rolled to a commanding 79-56 victory.
In the opening period, neither could gain an advantage as the two squads sized each other up and traded buckets. Fortunately, ALC scored a few late hoops and led 23-17 after ten minutes of play.
In the second quarter, the Lady Eagles went off. Sparked on offense by the shooting of senior guards Haley Hall and Ali May, and sparked on defense by stingy quarter court play, the Pippa Passes crew rolled off a 21-11 advantage. The dominant display made the score 44-28 at intermission, as Hall and May had combined for 29 points.
As the third period began, the Lady Royals would reduce the deficit to 13 (51-38) on two free throws with 4:40 showing. However, ALC sophomore center Emma Maggard would score eight points to spark a 13-5 burst and close the segment. At the horn, the score read 64-43.
In the final stanza, Ecclesia would get within seventeen points (64-47) as they scored the opening two buckets, but one last surge fueled by seven Hall points would make the lead 25, and slam the door shut on the huge victory.
For Alice Lloyd (9-7), Hall drilled 9-13 field goals and 4-7 3FG to lead all scorers with 26 points. She stuffed the stat sheet as also led everyone with 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals.
May drained 5-9 shots, (4-6 bombs) to finish with 15 points. Fellow senior guard Shelby Davis sank half of her 8 attempts and added 12 points. Maggard chipped in with 8 points. Freshman forward Madison Thompson tied Hall with 7 rebounds and added 2 blocks.
The Caney Club finished shooting 48.3% (28-58) from the field and 45.8% (11-24) from the long-range. They connected on 63.2% (12-19) from the charity line, while adding 49 rebounds, 18 assists, and 4 steals.
EU (11-10) was paced by Grace Crawford with 12 points. Her squad finished shooting 26.7% (16-60) from the field and 24.1% (7-29) from behind the arc. They sank 50% (17-34) from the foul line and added 35 rebounds, 5 assists, and 10 steals.
The Lady Eagles return to action on Thursday, March 18th, when they play the top seed of the tournament, Southwest Christian University in semifinal play. Tipoff is set for 12:00 noon.