By Bill Oliver
St. Joseph, MO – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women's basketball team held off Washburn University of Topeka, Kansas 71-70. In the process, the Lions defeated the top 3 seeds in the South Central region to advance to the NCAA Division II finals next week in Kearney, Nebraska.
The Lions held a 13 point lead at halftime, 43-30. The Lady Blues wiped out the deficit in the first 10 minutes of the second half and Washburn led by as many as five at 61-56. But the Lions went on a 9-2 run to regain the lead. The Lady Blues had a chance to tie the game with 0.7 seconds remaining but Amanda Holmes missed the second of two free throw attempts.
A&M-Commerce scoring was led by Kanani Marshal's 22, though the Washburn defense held her to no field goals in the second half. Marshal was 6-8 from the free throw line in the second half.
Katedria Mosley, who won the semifinal game at the buzzer, added 15 points in the regional final, and Britney Jordan chipped in 13. Marshal and Jordan were named to the all-region team.
A&M-Commerce, with a 28-8 record, starts play in the NCAA Division II finals starting next Wednesday. Washburn, ranked fifth nationally, finished with a 29-4 record.