FRANKFORT, Ky. – (Box Score) Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) cruised past Huston-Tillotson (Texas), 85-51, for its 25th all-time win in the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, tied for the fifth most in tournament history.
FHU (33-1) wasted little time to jump in front of the Rams, opening the game on a 13-0 run. Junior forward Ashley Newby scored 10 of the Lady Lion’s first 20 points en route to her 21st double-double of the season, 24 points and 19 rebounds. She secured her 19th board with 10 seconds to play, tying her career-high and placing her in the Top 25 for most rebounds in NAIA tournament history.
Freed-Hardeman shot 43.2 percent in the first half while holding the Rams to 24.3 percent from the floor to build a 46-23 halftime lead. Newby led all players with 18 points and 13 boards at the break.
FHU finished the game shooting 41.9 percent and held the Rams to 28.2 percent from the floor, including 14.3 percent (3-for-21) from 3-point range.
Grace Alonso De Armino followed Newby’s lead with 10 points and 14 rebounds for her 18th double-double of the season. Taleeah Cross narrowly missed a third double-double for the Lady Lions with nine points and nine rebounds to go along with a game-high five assists.
Summer Webb led Huston-Tillotson with 14 points, four assists and four steals, while Shaniqua Thomas was the top Ram rebounder with 12, including eight on the offensive glass.
Huston-Tillotson (15-15) was making its first appearance in the NAIA Championships after winning the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament.