NAIA Women's National Division II Basketball Tournament
Opponent: Bethel College (IN)
Date: Wednesday, March 6
Time: 3:30 PM
Site: Tyson Even Center, Sioux City, IA
Radio Station Broadcast: KQDJ 101.1 and Newsdakota.com
Live Video: NAIA National Tournament
Vikings at a Glance: The Valley City State University Women's Basketball team climbed back into the top 25 poll after an A.I.I. Tournament run in which they won two of three games. The Vikings opened the first round with a win over Rocherster (MI) and then knocked off rival Mayville State University in the semi-finals.
The win over Mayville State gave the Vikings one of two automatic bids by the A.I.I. Conference to the NAIA National Tournament. The bid to the National Tournament is the Vikings third straight win to the big dance.
The victory over the Comets was also the 24th win of the season, a new record for wins in a season for the Vikings, eclipsing the old record of 23 set in the 2010-2011 season, the first year Valley City State qualified for national tournament.
Junior forward Brittany Lehner leads the Vikings balanced offensive attack into the National Tournament by leading the team in both points and rebounds per game at 13.3 and 5.0 respectively. Lehner shoots at a 53.7% clip from the field and touts an 83.3 free throw shooting percentage. Lehner's shooting percentage from the floor put lists her at 10th in the nation in that category.
As balanced as the team is on the offensive end of the floor, they are just as good defensively. Valley City State ranks number seven in the nation in Team Rebounding Defense, pulling down 32.45 defensive boards per game. The Vikings are also ranked #17 in Scoring Defense per Game allowing only 57.38 points per game to their opponent.
The Opponent: Bethel College (IN) is a member of the Crossroads Conference and finished the season with a 25-7 overall record and 14-4 in their conference. That finish put the Pilots as the #11 ranked team in the nation in the latest NAIA Women's Basketball Poll.
Bethel College finished third in their conference tournament behind #2 ranked University of St Francis and #4 Indiana Wesleyan.
Throughout the season the Pilots compiled a 6-4 record versus teams ranked in the top 25 national poll, including a win over then ranked number one Indiana Wesleyan.
The Pilots are led by Laura Johnson who averages 18.8 points per game while shooting 39.5% from the three point line and 87.1% from the free throw line.