WOMEN'S BASKETBALL EXTENDED INVITATION TO MONTANA

Press Release Photo

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For the fifth time in program history, the John Brown University women's basketball team has been extended an at-large berth to the NAIA Division I National Championships, the national office announced Wednesday (March 8) night via selection show.

Click here to plan your trip to Billings

Despite a setback in the quarterfinal round of the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament, the Golden Eagles enter the big dance with a 22-8 overall mark and have won 12 of its last 14 contests. It will be JBU's third trip to the National Championships in seven seasons. John Brown has a 3-4 overall mark in four trips, with all three wins coming at the 2014 edition of the Championships where JBU donned the Cinderella mantle en route to taking down Lyon (Ark.), top-seeded Vanguard (Calif.) and Loyola (La.) before dropping the national semifinal contest to eventual champion and conference foe Oklahoma City by just two points.

Led by sophomore and returning All-America selection Baily Cameron, the Golden Eagles lead the nation in triples per game (10.8) and total three-pointers (323) while dishing out the second-most assists per game (19.0) and shooting nearly 40 percent behind the arc, also second-best in the nation.

"I'm excited for the girls," said head coach Jeff Soderquist. "They've done a great job and they've earned it. We have a neat group of girls.

"Coach (Chad) Folsom does a great job. I've known him a number of years and he does a very good job over there. They've done a great job after Christmas. Like us, they're a great three-point shooting team, so I expect a great game and good competition."

Cameron paces John Brown with 17.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and leads the team with a 52.6 percent shooting percentage. Senior Kodee Powell adds 11.2 points per game while junior Jana Schammel has come on as of late, contributing 9.4 points a night. Powell and Schammel drive the JBU triple threat, shooting 43.6 and 44.4 percent from long range, and are sixth and fourth in the nation, respectively.

Falling just one win shy of tying the program record of 23 regular-season wins, John Brown, claiming a No. 19 ranking in the final regular season NAIA Coaches' Top-25 Poll, earned the fifth seed in the Liston bracket and will face fourth-seeded and No. 13 Benedictine (Kan.) in the Round of 32 on Thursday (March 16) at 7:15 p.m..

If the matchup looks familiar, it is because the Golden Eagles and Ravens have faced off already this year in both teams' season openers. The Golden Eagles upset then-No. 11 Benedictine, 70-66.

The Ravens (25-8) plowed their way through the difficult Heart of America tournament before falling to defending national champion, Baker (Kan.), by a 64-51 final. Benedictine carried a 39-38 lead into the fourth in the title game, but the Wildcats responded with a 26-12 final frame to land the HAAC crown.

Kristen Murphy leads the Ravens with 15.9 points per game while Serena Parker contributes 14 points and 7.3 boards per night, a team-best. Benedictine is 3-4 against top-25 competition this season, thrice losing to Baker, but boasts an impressive 18-3 mark since Christmas.

Google™ Translate: