The Manhattan Christian College women’s basketball team defeated No. 9 Central Christian of Missouri to win the central region championship and advance to the national tournament.
Leading 31-27 at halftime, the Crusaders held Central Christian without a field goal in the first seven minutes of the second half.
Central made several scoring runs at the Crusaders, but MCC always responded with its own scoring runs to maintain a 14-point lead for most of the second half.
Manhattan shot 49 percent from the field.
Freshman Leah Pauli’s 14-point outburst in the first half helped jump start MCC’s offense. Three other Crusaders scored in double figures, as Lindsey Anderson and Brittany Shaklee scored13 points each. Ashley Valentine added 12 points.
Libby Witte led MCC in rebounding with 11.
The Crusaders will now advance to the national tournament in Ohio on March 7. MCC is currently ranked No. 2 in the latest NCCAA Div-II poll and has a record of 25-4.