The MidAmerica Nazarene women advanced out of the opening round of the NAIA Tournament on Thursday night at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence.
The Pioneers, the No. 2 seed in the Duer Bracket, knocked out Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 68-53.
MidAmerica Nazarene will play third-seeded Freed Hardeman (Tenn.) in the second round on Friday night at 9:45.
The Pioneers on Friday built a 19-10 lead by the end of the first quarter and had control of the game the rest of the way.
Megan Balcom, a senior guard who played in high school at Olathe South, led the Pioneers on Friday with 15 points.
▪ Taleeah Cross scored 22 points for No. 3 seed Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), which topped No. 6 seed Carroll (Mont.) 51-44 in the opening round.
▪ The Lyon (Ark.) women made some some program history on Thursday. The Scots picked up their first-ever victory in the tournament (in five tries) by beating LSU Shreveport 58-48 in the opening round in the Liston Bracket. And with the victory Lyon improved to 30-3 on the season, marking the first time Lyon has ever reached 30 wins in a season.
The Scots, the-top-seed in the Liston Bracket, can add to that tally, as they face Great Falls (Mont.) Friday in the Round of 16.
Guard Jamie Jackson led the way on Thursday for Lyon with a spectacular game on both offense and defesne. Jackson scored 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting. She was 4 for 4 on three pointers. She also had a tournament-record 10 steals in the game.
▪ Fifth-seeded Great Falls (Mont.) also advanced to the second round with a 70-58 win over No. 4 seed Central Methodist, which is out of Fayette, Mo. Central Methodist fell to 0-2 all-time in the tournament. DaJonee Hale had 24 points and nine rebounds for Central Methodist. Erin Legel had 28 points and eight rebounds for Great Falls, which shot 7 of 17 on three pointers. Central Methodist finished the season at 26-5.
▪ Westmont, (Calif.), the top-seed in the Duer Bracket, jumped out to a 25-10 first-quarter lead and cruised to a 82-47 win over No. 8 seed Huston-Tillotson (Texas). Aysia Shellmire had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Westmont, which will face Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in the second round.
▪ Second-seeded Vanguard (Calif.) put together a big third quarter on way to a 60-53 win over seventh-seeded Auburn Montgomery (Ala.). Vanguard was down by six at halftime but outscored Auburn Montgomery 20-2 in the pivotal third quarter. Vanguard outrebounded the Warhawks 48-39.
▪ Sixth-seeded Pikeville (Ky.) started the day’s action with a 70-65 upset over No. 3 seed Wayland Baptist (Texas). Prisha Rogers had 17 points and five rebounds for Pikeville, which came in averaging 82.8 points per game. Pikeville will face Vangaurd on Friday in second-round action in the Liston Bracket.
▪ Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), the fifth seed in the Duer Bracket, pulled out a hard-fought 69-67 victory over fourth-seeded Talladega (Ala.). Kayla Styles, a forward from Louisville, had 22 points, seven rebounds, and a season-high five assists for Lindsey Wilson. She made seven of her eight free throws.