The brackets have been set and the opponents drawn for Grace’s men’s and women’s basketball teams at this week’s NCCAA National Championships.
The Lancers and Lady Lancers – playing together at NCCAA Nationals for the first time – tip off on Wednesday night at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center. The eighth-seeded Lady Lancers will face top-seeded Lee (Tenn.) at 5:15 p.m. The men’s team (No. 7 seed) will play No. 2 Colorado Christian at 7:30 p.m.
The 2014 men’s and women’s tournament field is loaded with talent from NCAA Div. II, NCCAA and NAIA levels. Teams come from as far as New York, California, South Carolina and Oklahoma to the MOCC fromWednesday to Saturday with national championship aspirations.
The Lady Lancers’ first-round opponent Lee was last year’s NAIA Div. I national runner-up. The high-scoring Flames are led by Hollie German, who has scored over 2,000 points in her career. Lee averages 70 points per game and outscores its opponents by over 10 ppg.
Juaneice Jackson headlines Grace’s women’s team, who is coming off its best Crossroads League season (12-6) in program history. Jackson became Grace’s all-time scoring champion in January and leads the Lady Lancers with 18.3 points, 2.7 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
In the men’s bracket Grace will square off with Colorado Christian, winners of six of its past nine games. The Cougars rip off 85 ppg offensively, but they also give up over 82 points defensively. Colorado Christian averages 10 made 3-pointers per game, hitting 40 percent as a team from beyond the arc.
The Lancers are enjoying an eighth consecutive national tournament appearance. After losing their first five league games, the Lancers recovered to win eight of their final 13 contests. Grace nearly won the CL Tournament as the No. 6 seed, coming up five points short to Bethel in the championship.
Senior Greg Miller paces the Lancers offensively, averaging 17.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Logan Irwin (13.1 ppg) and Niko Read (11.0) also average double-digit scoring.
Ticket information and live video coverage of the tournament games can be found at www.GCLancers.com/NCCAA.