March 9, 2014-For the 16th time in the past 18 years the Emporia State Lady Hornets will be dancing in March. Emporia State earned the #1 seed in the NCAA Division II Central Regional Tournament, but will be going to Searcy, Ark. for the tournament due to scheduling issues with White Auditorium.
Emporia State will take on eight seeded Southwestern Oklahoma State on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Harding University’s Rhodes Field House. Southwestern Oklahoma upset Harding in the Great American Conference Tournament Championship game on Sunday. They were the runner-up in the GAC regular season after going 19-10 overall and 13-7 in the GAC.
Game times and ticket information will be released on Monday.
The Lady Hornets are 30-14 in NCAA Tournament play and are ranked fourth all-time among active Division II schools in total tournament wins. Emporia State has been to the Regional Championship ten times, have made five trips to the Elite Eight, three to the Final Four, two national title game appearances and won the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship.
Emporia State’s win over Washburn last season means the host team for the NCAA Regional the Lady Hornets compete in has won the tournament only once in the last nine years. The first eight years were in the South Central Region with last season in the Central Region. The Lady Hornets have knocked off the host team in five regional tournaments, twice defeating the #1 team in the nation in the process. In that same time, the host team has advanced to the regional final only twice with Emporia State defeating Washburn in 2006 in Lee Arena and West Texas A&M defeating Central Oklahoma in 2009 in Canyon, Texas.
This will be the sixth meeting with Southwestern Oklahoma State and the first in the NCAA Tournament. It is the first time they have met since a 90-56 win in the second game of the 2006-07 season.
NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Central Regional
Hosted by Harding
First Round – Friday, March 14
ESU vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State
Wayne State vs. Pittsburg State
Harding vs. Concordia-St. Paul
Central Missouri vs. Northern State
Semifinals – Saturday, March 15
ESU/SWOSU vs. WSC/PSU
HU/CSP vs. UCM/NSU
Championship – Monday, March 17
1. Emporia State 28-3, 16-3 MIAA
MIAA Regular Season Runner-up
MIAA Tournament Champion
2. Harding 29-2, 19-1 GAC
GAC Regular Season Champion
GAC Tournament Champion
3. Central Missouri 25-4, 17-2 MIAA
MIAA Regular Season Champion
MIAA Tournament Runner-up
4. Wayne State (Neb.) 27-4, 19-3 NSIC
NSIC South Champion
NSIC Tournament Quarterfinalist
5. Pittsburg State 23-7, 16-3 MIAA
MIAA Tournament Quarterfinalist
6. Northern State 24-6, 17-5 NSIC
NSIC North Champion
NSIC Tournament Runner-up
7. Concordia-St. Paul 25-8, 16-6
NSIC South Third Place
NSIC Tournament Champions
8. Southwestern Okla. St. 19-10, 13-7 GAC
GAC Tournament Champion