SIOUX CITY, Iowa – () No. 1 Northwestern (Iowa) rebounded from is first round scare with a dominant 92-68 win against No. 5 Huntington (Ind.) in the second round of the 2014 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by State Farm.
The Red Raiders are the second No. 1 seed to punch a ticket into the quarterfinals, joining Saint Francis (Ind.) who won earlier on Friday.
With the win, the Red Raiders improve to 10-2 all time in the second round and advance to their seventh-straight quarterfinals. Northwestern entered the championship as the record holder in wins (44) and national titles (5).
Northwestern, co-regular season champion and tournament champion of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), limited Huntington to 56 total field goal attempts. The Red Raiders were dominant in the pant with a 48-24 scoring advantage in the lane, while also outscoring the Foresters, 16-4, on second-chance points.
Senior guard Alli Engebretson amassed a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the Red Raiders. The performance is her sixth-straight game with 20-or-more points. Other notable performances for Northwestern were Karen Hutson with 19 points and Samantha Kleinsasser with 16 points.
Northwestern took its first lead on a Paige O’Neal jumper in the paint, 7-5, early in the first half and never looked back. The Red Raiders pushed their lead out to as many as 12 during the period before a two-pointer by Pazia Speed cut the lead to 38-28 at the half.
As a team, Northwestern shot 52.9 percent from the field, including a 21-for-33 (63.6 percent) effort in the second half.
The Red Raiders continued to assert themselves throughout the second half, allowing Huntington to pull no closer than eight points.
Miranda Palmer led the Foresters with 17 points off the bench, while Amelia Recker added 15 points in the effort.
Huntington, who making its third all-time appearance in the second, ends the year with a 24-8 record.