KEARNEY, Neb., - The top ranked FGCU women's basketball team will be playing for the NCAA Division II national championship on Saturday against Southern Connecticut State. The Eagles advanced after surviving a scare with a 61-57 win over #16 Clayton State on Thursday night.
The Eagles opened the game in impressive fashion with a 22-2 run. Kate Schrader (Fort Collins, Col.) and Steffi Sorensen (Jacksonville, Fla.) took turns scoring for the Eagles. Schrader opened with the first six points of the game and Sorensen followed with a pair of treys. Amanda Pierce (Altoona, Pa.) broke up the scoring tandem with a three of her own. Clayton State began to chip away at the Eagles lead and managed to get the deficit to 14 points going in to halftime. Schrader was nearly unstoppable in the first half, going 8-for-11 in the first 20 minutes pouring in 16 points. Sorensen added nine for FGCU, all in the opening run. FGCU connected on 15-of-28 field goals in the first half while holding Clayton State to %25.0 from the floor.
After closing the half on a 6-0 run, the Lakers drilled a three to cut FGCU's lead to 11. An aggressive Clayton State defense held the Eagles without a field goal until the 13:06 mark in second half. While the Lakers held the Eagles without a field goal, forcing three turnovers and holding the Eagles to 0-for-7 while taking a 42-40 lead. The lead changed hands several times over the next few minutes. With the score knotted at 55 all, Sorensen drilled a three with 1:52 to play to put the Eagles up for good. FGCU sunk three free-throws to hold on for the four point win.
The Lakers held FGCU to %28.0 from the floor in the second half and forced 10 turnovers. Schrader poured in a game-high 25 points before fouling out with just over two minutes to play. Sorensen added 13 for the Eagles including the go-ahead bucket.
The Eagles will return to action again on Saturday when they take on Southern Connecticut State for the 2007 Division II Women's Basketball national championship at 6:00 pm. The Eagles look to become the second team to go undefeated and capture the Division II championship with no losses.