Rio Grande women draw Warriors in NAIA tourney opener


By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing



KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Literally and figuratively speaking, the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball team will have to go through Indiana in order to reach Iowa.

The RedStorm will square off with Indiana Tech in the Opening Round of the NAIA Women’s Basketball Championship on Friday, March 12, at 2:30 p.m., as part of the Crestview Hills B Bracket at Thomas More University in Crestview Hills, Ky.

The pairings for the opening round of the 48-team tournament were announced by the NAIA national office on Thursday night.

The RedStorm (18-8), who are seeded third in the three-team bracket, punched their ticket to the tournament as the River States Conference Tournament runner-up. Head coach David Smalley’s club dropped an 86-74 decision to West Virginia University-Tech in Tuesday night’s RSC championship game.

Indiana Tech, the No. 2 seed in the bracket, won its third straight Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Tournament title on Monday evening by defeating Concordia University-Ann Arbor, 65-59. The Warriors (26-2) are ranked 13th nationally.

Friday afternoon’s winner will advance to the bracket championship on Saturday to meet top-seeded Indiana Wesleyan. The 20th-ranked Wildcats (21-6) captured the championship of the Crossroads League Tournament by upending No. 5-ranked Marian University, 77-67.

Saturday’s tip time is also set for 2:30 p.m. EST.

The winner of Saturday’s game will be one of the 16 teams advance to the tournament’s final site — the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa — for play which begins on March 18 and concludes with the NAIA national championship game.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.