SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The University of Antelope Valley women’s basketball team continued to make school history, defeating the Oregon Institute of Technology, 81-69, in the second round of the NAIA Division 2 Women’s Basketball Championships on Friday.
With the win, the Pioneers (27-5) set a new California Pacific Conference record for wins in a season and became the first Cal Pac team to reach the quarterfinal round in an NAIA Championship event.
In the first quarter, UAV junior forward Tylen Price picked up her 1,000th career point. The UAV career points leader finished with 18 points and six rebounds to help lead the team with senior guard Samantha Earl, who also scored 18 points with six rebounds and six assists.
UAV’s Alexia Budd added 14 points, four rebounds and a steal and senior guards T’Airah Pryor and Alyssa Gonzales contributed nine points apiece.
“This late in the season, each game is a huge stage for every team,” UAV coach Deon Price said. “Our girls adapted quickly to the bright lights and got it done. Take nothing away from Oregon Tech, they played well and gave us trouble the entire game.”
The Pioneers started slow, hitting just one of 11 3-pointers in the first half. They took a 34-32 halftime lead, but quickly pulled away in the first 4½ minutes of the third period on a 12-4 run.
“We were really able to make some key adjustments at halftime, and we had a huge turnover that led to a basket right before halftime that created momentum for us going into the second half,” Deon Price said. “The girls never quit and we got the win.”
The Pioneers will try to continue their NAIA run in the Elite Eight as they take on No. 1 seed Southeastern University at 1 p.m. today.