BATESVILLE, Ark. – With a home game against arch-rival Williams Baptist College in the quarterfinal round of the American Midwest Conference Women's Postseason Tournament coming up Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Becknell Gymnasium, the Lyon College women's basketball team climbed up two positions to No. 18 this week in the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches Poll, the national office announced Tuesday.
The Scots are coming off a 2012-13 campaign where they were ranked throughout the season and then advanced to the NCAA Division I National Tournament for the second consecutive season. Lyon was ranked during this year's preseason poll and received points toward the Top 25 for sixth of the next seven polls, before re-appearing in the Top 25 a No. 21 in the eighth poll.
Lyon moved up to No. 20 last week, before jumping two spots this week, marking the highest ranking since last season. The Scots, who have the league's longest current winning streak of eight games and have won 16 of their past 17 games, will take on a WBC squad that is coming off an 81-77 overtime win over 11-seed Harris-Stowe State University Tuesday night in Walnut Ridge, Ark. in the play-in round of the conference tourney.
Lyon and Williams Baptist will tip off at 7 p.m. Wednesday in James C. Becknell Gymnasium. No passes will be honored since this is a postseason tournament game.
The Scots are the No. 3-seed in the tournament, having posted their third straight 20-win season. Lyon (23-7) is 11-3 at home this season and received a bye in the tourney, along with No. 1-seed Freed-Hardeman (29-1), No. 2-seed Columbia (24-6) and No. 4-seed William Woods (21-9).
Freed-Hardeman is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation again this week, just behind top-ranked Vanguard (Calif.), who had all 13 first-place votes. The other top seven teams remained the same: No. 3 Westminster (Utah); No. 4 Campbellsville (Ky.); No. 5 Oklahoma City; No. 6 Oklahoma Baptist; and No. 7 The Master's (Calif.).
AMC member Columbia moved up one spot to No. 11 this week, while William Woods continues to receive votes for the Top 25.
Other play-in results from the AMC women's tourney on Tuesday include: No. 7-seed Hannibal-LaGrange defeating No. 10-seed Benedictine 74-57; No. 5-seed Park rolling past No. 12-seed Stephens 60-36; and No. 8-seed Missouri Baptist knocking off No. 9-seed Mid-Continent 85-68.
In other Wednesday night quarterfinal games, Freed-Hardeman will host Missouri Baptist, Columbia will host Hannibal-LaGrange, William Woods will host Park. All games will be at 7 p.m.
The semifinals are scheduled for Friday night at 7 p.m. at the higher seed's site, with the championship game set for Monday at night at 7 p.m.
Sophomore Carina Jackson (Sao Paulo, Brazil) is currently the leading scorer for the Scots, scoring 14.9 points per game. She is the second-leading shot blocker on the team with 14, while pulling down 3.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore Taylor Gaedtke (Keller, Tex.) is the only other Lyon player scoring in double figures, throwing in 10.2 per contests. She is hitting 45.2% of her field goals and is the top rebounder on the Lyon squad, with a 6.1 average per contest.
The Scots are currently the No. 7-ranked team in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (36.5%), No. 9 in points allowed per game (59.0) and No. 13 in total assists (459) and three-point field goals made (207).
Williams Baptist College is 17-12 and the No. 6-seed in the tournament. The Lady Eagles are led by Cheyenne Childers, who is pouring in 16.0 points per contest. She is also the leading rebounder on the squad with a 7.6-rebound per game average. The next highest scorer for WBC is Tiera Burks, who is scoring 8.7 points per game.
The Lady Eagles are ranked No. 2 nationally in field goal percentage allowed (34.2%), No. 8 in defensive rebounds per game (30.9), No. 10 in total rebounds per contest (45.4) and 12th in three-point field goal percentage allowed (27.3%) and total rebound margin (+8.3).
Lyon College swept the regular season series with the Lady Eagles this season, capturing a 67-57 win in Batesville and a dramatic 57-55 win in Walnut Ridge. Williams Baptist is 6-8 this season on the road.
The survivor of Lyon and Williams Baptist will take on the winner of Wednesday's quarterfinal between Columbia and Hannibal-LaGrange on Friday night.