The Lady Blue Devils' (30-3) matched up against Owens Community College (26-7) Thursday night in the Elite 8 of the D2 National Tournament. Early in the first quarter, Owens jumped out to an early lead. The Blue Devils were quick to respond. With three minutes to go in the first, the Blue Devils' were up 17-7, Owens would not go away easily going on an 11-0 run to move the score to 18-17. With twenty seconds to go, Cheyenne North made a jump shot to regain the lead 19-18 going into the first break.
Early in the second quarter, North took over grabbing virtually every rebound possible going along with her perfect first half shooting percentage (6-6 from the field). Brooklyn Wagler added 9 first half points and Erin Anderson contributed 4 assist to give the Blue Devils a 40-28 lead going into the half.
Owens' came out for the second half looking to mount a comeback scoring 4 quick points to cut the lead to 8 after a Blue Devil turnover but the Blue Devils were quick to answer when Wagler was fouled on a made layup and made her free throw to take another double digit lead. Head Coach Joe McKinstry said "I'm especially proud of our resiliency and our ability to answer all of Owens' runs." The Lady Blue Devils' held on to their 10 point lead after three quarters.
Once again, Owens' tried to fight back early in the fourth but Erin Anderson and Bri Taui would have something to say about that. Anderson had 6 of her 9 points in the fourth quarter and Taui had 5 of her 10 in the fourth as well. McKinstry added this about his team, "Obviously Cheyenne was amazing and showed that she is one of the most talented players in the country, but we had huge plays from everyone last night". As a team the Blue Devils' had an assist on 22 of 31 made field goals. A total team effort.
Owens' pushed and tried to make a comeback down the stretch, but the Blue Devil defense controlled the game, with just under 5 minutes to go, Owens' made a layup, that would be the last field goal they made for the rest of the game. The Blue Devil offense would stay on the attack by going on an 8-0 run behind the shooting of Aricca Daye and Sierra Roberts. The final score of the game was 78-64
Cheyanne North finished her big night with 20 points, 19 rebounds and 7 assist. Brooklyn Wagler had a great offensive night finishing 7-8 from the field, scoring 18 points.
"This was without a doubt, one of the most special games I've been a part of in 10 years of coach." McKinstry said.
The Lady Blue Devils (31-3) will match up in the Final Four against Monroe CC (31-0) at 8:00pm tonight at Johnson County Community College.