Campbellsville University Harrodsburg's Lady Pioneers appeared in their first national tournament contest on Wednesday in a match up with top seed Arlington Baptist. Despite impressive performances from several Lady Pioneers, CU Harrodsburg was defeated 98-64 by the five-time defending national champions.
Turnovers and Assists hurt the Lady Pioneers as they only dished out seven assists and were forced into 25 turnovers by the Lady Patriot's swarming defense.
Arlington Baptist seemed to force the pace early, forcing the Lady Pioneers into uncharacteristic turnovers and rushed shots on the offensive end. On the defensive end, multiple passes prompted easy opportunities at the basket for Arlington. Woods and Washington carried the offensive load for the Pioneers, but it wasn't enough against the fast paced offense of Arlington.
CU also struggled from the three point line, shooting 3-26 from long range. The Lady Pioneers also could not take advantage of opportunities at the free throw line, only connecting on 13 of their 31 attempts from the line.
Most of Arlington's offense came in the paint, as they outscored CU 70-40, scoring 27 of those points off of the fast break and 18 of them from second chance opportunities. Five Lady Patriots reached double figures.
CU Harrodsburg's experience in the national tournament is not over, as they will take on Emmaus Bible College on Thursday at 10 a.m. Emmaus was defeated by Pensacola Christian College on Wednesday afternoon.
While the game didn't end with a favorable result, there were plenty of highlights for CU Harrodsburg. E'moni Washington and Oriona Woods showed offensive dependability on the biggest stage in the NCCAA, hitting shots that kept the game within reach for a stretch of the first half. Makala Smith found herself in foul trouble early, limiting her minutes on the floor. Jabriel Kelly also found trouble on the defensive end, picking up four fouls Wednesday. Dymond Smith and Tymyka Shabazz also each had three fouls.
Jeian Hayes had an impressive performance for the Lady Pioneers, scoring nine points on 4-7 shooting.
Campbellsville University Harrodsburg has experienced their first taste of national tournament play, and while more opportunities await for this week's tournament, the young Lady Pioneers now have another goal to reach, to return to this stage. If history is any indicator, chances are good.