BILLINGS, Mont. – The ninth-ranked Lyon College women's basketball team (27-5) will begin their journey in the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Tournament, on Thursday when they take on No. 23 University of Pikeville (Ky.) at 10 a.m. CT The Scots earned one of four No. 3 seeds in the tournament, while the Bears enter as a six seed.
Lyon earned an automatic bid to the National Tournament, after finishing as the American Midwest Conference Tournament runner-up. Pikeville earned one of 17 at-large bids.
The NAIA Network – the association's official video streaming home – will broadcast the first 30 games leading up to the championship final on ESPN3. The video platform, powered by Stretch Internet, allows users access to live video, statistics, and social interaction on a number of devices, including mobile. Single day passes can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament package is available at $29.95. For more information and to pre-register click here.
The game will also be shown in the Lyon College Dining Hall in the Edwards Commons building at 10 a.m. CT. Fans are encouraged to come watch the game and support the Scots.
Tournament History For the Two Squads
Lyon will be making their sixth straight national tournament appearance, while Pikeville is making their fifth all-time appearance. Last year, the Scots made it to the second round after defeating Lousiana State University-Shreveport 58-48 in the first round. The Scots then fell to the University of Great Falls (Mont.) 60-50 in round two.
The Bears made a long run last season as they advanced all the way to the 'Fab Four.' Pikeville would fall to the eventual national champion Mid-America Nazarene University (Kan.) 78-70.
Scouting the University of Pikeville
Pikeville enters the tournament with a 21-10 overall record, and finished 8-6 in the Mid-South Conference. The Bears fell in their conference tournament semifinals to No. 1 seed Shawnee State University (Ohio) 79-74, after defeating No. 5 seed Georgetown 73-59 in the quarterfinals. Pikeville is led by Devin Conley's 13.8 points per game, while Kelah Eldridge is posting 11.8 points. Brianna Burbridge and Elisabeth Latham are averaging a team high 4.9 rebounds per contest.
Pikeville is also ranked third in the nation with 146 total blocks and seventh in the NAIA averaging 79.3 points per game. Eldridge is the team's top three-point shooter as she is posting a 41.9 percentage from beyond the arc. Latham is ranked 22nd in the NAIA with 44 total blocks, which leads the team.
This will be the first ever meeting between Lyon and Pikeville.
Leading the Scots
Kiara Moore (SR/Little Rock, Ark.) leads the Scots with 13.6 points and 2.21 steals per game. Sarah Elkins (SO/Greenwood, Ark.) (pictured below left) is second on the team with 9.1 points, while Liz Henderson (FR/Newark, Ark.) (pictured below right) and Madison Riley (FR/Judsonia, Ark.) are each posting 9.0 points. Elliot Taylor (SR/Cabot, Ark.) is averaging a team high 5.1 rebounds per game, and has blocked 21 total shots.
Ali Tucker (SO/Jonesboro, Ark.) leads the Scots with a 45.6 three-point field goal percentage, which is ranked third in the nation, and has also made 72 total three-point field goals to rank 24th in the NAIA. Henderson is also shooting 39.2 percent from beyond the arc, which is ranked 23rd in the nation, and leads the Scots with 2.7 assists.
Overall the Scots are ranked sixth in the NAIA shooting 45.1 percent from the field, and are allowing just 55.8 points per game. The Scots are also shooting 37.6 percent from beyond the arc to rank fourth in the NAIA, and have made 258 total baskets from beyond the arc to rank sixth in the nation.
With a win, the Scots would advance to the second round and play the winner of No. 2 seed Westmont College (Calif.), and No. 7 seed LSU-Shreveport on Friday. Tip-off would be scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT.