(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – A pair of Jennies finished with double-doubles, but it wasn’t enough as the 13th-ranked Central Missouri Jennies were upset by the fourth-seeded Emporia State Hornets, 51-67.
The Jennies (24-5) battled back and forth in the opening minutes, as the game saw six lead changes in the first 10 minutes. Emporia took the lead for the rest of the half after a pair of back-to-back treys from ESU’s Rachel Hanf, starting off an 8-0 run that put the Hornets ahead 20-14 with 7:50 to play in the first half. The Jens answered with a trey from Brielle Wattley on the next possession, cutting the lead to three, but that would be as close as they would get in the first half.
The Hornets (21-8) flirted with a double-digit lead to open up the second half, going up by as much as 11 after a pair of free throws at the 18:22 mark. From that point, the Jennies scored six straight, including a trey from BreAnna Lewis and a layup from Caddell, making it a 35-30 ESU advantage with 15:00 to play.
Emporia State stretched its lead back to 11 with another pair of treys, going ahead 43-32 at the 11:47 mark. A mini 4-0 run pulled the Jens to within seven after four straight points from Flax and 6:06 on the clock, but UCM seemingly ran out of gas down the stretch and were unable to close the gap as time winded down.
The loss marks the sixth straight for the Jennies program in the MIAA Championship game. Their last tournament title came in 1990, en route to an Elite Eight appearance that season.
Central Missouri is still in good shape for the upcoming NCAA Central Regional, however. The team was ranked No. 2 in the region entering the tournament and is expected to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.