Hastings College knocks off two-time defending champ

Hastings College celebrates after knocking off the two-time defending national champions, Marian University, on March 9, 2018 at the NAIA-II tournament (KHGI)

Hastings College relied on a strong defensive effort to keep the No. 2 seeded Marian University (Ind.) under 31 percent shooting in a 62-45 win in the second round of the NAIA-II women's tournament.

The Broncos outrebounded the Knights by a 41-25 margin with 29 coming on the defensive glass and only giving up nine offensive rebounds to the two-time defending national champions.

"Their two guards are so good, their point guard and their wing we felt like they run so many sets and they are so good in their man so we were going to switch it up between man and zone to take away their tendencies," head coach Jina Douglas told media after the game. "Their point guard is great going to her right, great passer going to her right, great finisher going to her right so we tried to take away her right hand as much as possible. For the most part it worked, sometimes we over played it a little too much and you know honestly she probably missed a few shots that she normally makes so that helped us out as well but I thought our kids did a really good job of just sticking to the game plan, playing it out throughout the whole game and sticking with it."

Even though Hastings College was extremely poor from downtown and hit 11.7 percent (2 of 17) of their tries, they were able to shoot 50 percent (28 for 56) from the field. The game broke open for the Broncos with a 16-5 run spanning the second and third quarter.

"Yes, it's awesome," Shandra Farmer said with a big smile when asked about knocking off the two-time defending champs. "It's weird because they are right across the hall from us in our hotel so we've been seeing them like all around. We scouted them real hard and every one was just locked in."

Farmer led the Bronco scoring for the second straight game by getting 14 points, although she was 6 of 16 from the field including a 1 for 5 night from distance. Mackenzie Willicott had 11 points (5 of 8) and nine rebounds while senior Rachel Jelden was also in with 10 points behind a 5 for 5 shooting performance and nine more rebounds.

The Broncos advance to Saturday's quarterfinal, where they face the winner of No. 1 St. Xavier (Ill.) or 4-seed Morningside (Iowa) at 8 p.m.

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