Monroe holds off Kirkwood for DII women's title

CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS | AWARDS

Harrison, Ark. – In a battle between the top two seeds of the tournament, No. 1 Monroe (NY) defeated No. 2 Kirkwood 62-58 to win the 2018 NJCAA DII Women's Basketball Championship. The title marks the sixth national championship in program history for the Tribunes and its first since 2005.

The Tribunes, ranked No. 1in the NJCAA DI Women's Basketball Poll for all 11 regular season rankings, finished the season as the top team after outscoring their opponents by an average of 15.5 points in the tournament. Kirkwood finished as runners-up in 2018 after winning the national championship last season.

In the first quarter Monroe and Kirkwood battled to a draw after ending the period tied 20-20. In the second frame the defense picked up from both squads with Monroe edging the Eagles to go into intermission 29-27. In the third stanza the Tribunes continued to hold off Kirkwood with a 45-41 advantage. In the fourth and final quarter the drew even once again and tallied 17 points for a final score 62-58.

  • Shalix Hines led the Tribunes in scoring with 18 points, while Sierra Green pitched in 14 points off the bench. Lanay Rodney was two points shy from a double-double, as she netted eight points and 10 rebounds.
  • As a unit, Monroe shot 41.2 percent from the field and defensively held Kirkwood to just 36.2 percent.
  • Megan Axcell and Mackenzie Jenkins were the only players for the Eagles to reach double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
  • Monroe ended its 2017-18 campaign on a 10 game winning streak. The Tribunes finished its championship campaign with a 33-2 record, while the 2017 defending champions capped its runner up season at 34-4.
  • No. 3 Highland (KS) took down No. 5 Mesa 87-79 to finish third in the tournament. The Scotties capped their 2017-18 season with just one loss.
  • In the fifth place finals, Illinois Central defeated North Arkansas 72-67, while Union County (NY) downed Macomb (MI) 71-50 to finish seventh.

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