ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA -- With a 74-49 win over Montclair State and a 57-48 victory over host school Marymount, the George Fox University women's basketball team left the state of Virginia with yet another appearance in the Sweet 16 in hand. Adding to the rich history of the women's basketball program, the Bruins will now face No. 6 Amherst College for a chance to make it to the Elite Eight of NCAA Division III hoops.
It is GFU's first Sweet 16 run since 2016 and a welcome sight for a team that came into NCAAs unranked in major polls. The season ended on a high note prior to tournament play, however, as GFU upset No. 7 Whitman 57-55 to capture the Northwest Conference title.
The game against Montclair State was controlled by GFU from the get-go. A 21-10 first quarter in favor of the Bruins allowed them to feel confident in their first contest in Arlington.
Kylin Colman led the way with 18 points for GFU as the team shot 43 percent from the field. Montclair, meanwhile, shot 32 percent and struggled to put points on the scoreboard.
GFU won every quarter of the lopsided contest en route to a 25-point win, setting up a date with host Marymount.
That game was far more competitive than the Bruins' first-round contest. In fact, Marymount led 15-7 after one quarter as GFU struggled to make shots. But a 15-12 second quarter in favor of GFU cut the halftime deficit to five.
Marymount responded with a strong third quarter that extended its lead to nine entering the final frame, but that is when the game flipped on its head.
In an impressive display of resilience and lockdown defense, GFU won the fourth quarter 20-2 and shut down the host team's offensive production. The Bruins won 57-48 after forcing Marymount's shooting percentage down to a final clip of 43.5 percent. The Bruins shot just 33 percent in the victory, so the difference was the turnover margin:
Marymount turned it over 27 times to just 17 for GFU.
Elated with their upset win in the Round of 32, GFU looks ahead to a date with one of the top teams in the country. The Bruins will travel to Massachusetts to face Amherst at 4 p.m. local time Friday.
As a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, there will be no fans in the stands to cheer on either team. Amherst is closing off the game to spectators and anyone that isn't team personnel. So while the game will have major national implications, nobody beyond players, coaches and university staff will be there to see it.
"Friends, family and other Bruin fans should plan to watch the event on the live stream from a distance," GFU said in a press release. "Links to the live stat and video feeds will be posted (online) as soon as they become available from host site Amherst."
A link to the potential live stream will be posted at www.athletics.georgefox.edu/sports/wbkb/2019-20/schedule/.
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