By Matt Green
WINONA LAKE, Ind. -- Aminata Fall recorded a double-double with 17 points and 19 rebounds, Annie Kassongo poured in a game-high 19 points and fourth-seeded Southern Nazarene defeated fifth-seeded Shorter, 79-49, in the quarterfinals of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division I Women's Basketball Championship on Wednesday.
The win propels the Crimson Storm (18-12) into tomorrow's semifinal round. Shorter (17-12) ends its national championship quest, but will now play for fifth place in the tournament starting with a noon game tomorrow against the loser of the Union-Roberts Wesleyan quarterfinal later today.
Southern Nazarene surged ahead of the Lady Hawks early and never let up, building a 15-point halftime lead behind the inside prowess of forwards Fall and Kassongo.
The Crimson Storm used a 7-1 run early in the first half to take a 13-6 lead with 14:01 to go until halftime. Shorter closed to within 13-10 moments later, but Southern Nazarene outscored the Lady Hawks 10-0 over the next five minutes to go up 23-10 with 7:57 left in the first period.
Southern Nazarene led 37-22 at the break, and after Shorter showed signs of life with a 6-0 run to start the second half, Crimson Storm leading scorer Oumoul Thiam ended the run with a step back 3 from the corner and SNU used a 15-2 spurt capped by a layup and two free throws from Fall to go ahead 52-30 with 12:07 to play.
The Lady Hawks trailed by as much as 38 in the second half.
Shorter was done in by the efficiency of Kassongo, the inside presence of Fall and the second half performance of Thiam.
Kassongo went 9-for-10 from the floor, Fall added three blocks and made 7-for-10 from the foul line and Thiam, after being held to four points on 2-for-10 shooting in the first half, netted 11 second half points with the help of a 6-for-6 effort from the foul line.
The Lady Hawks couldn't buy a bucket all morning and shot just 22 percent (8-for-35) in the first half while going 5-for-13 from the foul line in the opening stanza. Shorter shot 35 percent in the second half, but still finished 7 of 17 from the line and 2-for-17 from beyond the arc in the loss.
Lindsey Crawford paced Shorter with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Karisma Boykin added 11 points. Shorter's starting backcourt of Boykin, Kristin Nash and Ieshia Alexander shot an uncharacteristic 9-for-37 combined.
Kristin Milster came off the bench to score 14 for Southern Nazarene, which outrebounded Shorter 46-37 and made 8 of 24 attempts from 3-point range. Five of those treys came in the second half to keep Shorter at bay.
Shorter's consolation bracket game tomorrow will be broadcast live on WATG-FM 95.7 The Ridge and streamed live on video by Tourbeau Sports.