(Editor’s note: NAIA release)
BILLINGS — Four-seed Montana Western almost lost a 6 point lead with 10 seconds left in what was eventually a 60-57 win over one-seed Campbellsville (Ky.). The Tigers are the first one-seed to lose in the 2018 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships presented by Wells Fargo, and each of the top three seeds in the Duer Bracket have been eliminated.
Despite how close the final seconds were, Montana Western led for the final 15 minutes of the game. The Bulldogs used a 20-4 run to start the third quarter to turn a 4 point deficit at the half into a 12 point lead.
Campbellsville spent the rest of the game narrowing the gap but never got closer than three points.
Offensively, the Bulldogs were a balanced unit with four players scoring 10 points or more. Sophomore, Savanna Bignell, stepped up in the team’s biggest game of the year. She entered the game averaging four points per game but finished with a team-leading 14 points with six rebounds in just 19 minutes on the floor.
For the Tigers, it was Clements with a second straight great shooting night, going four-for-eight from three for a game-high 22 points after going six-for-seven from three for 32 points in the team’s first-round game.
The loss closed Campbellsville’s quest for its first title. The Tigers have made 25 NAIA tournament appearances, including 10 in a row, but have never been able to finish the season with a win.
Montana Western advances to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2003. They will play six-seed Menlo (Calif.) on Saturday, March 17 at 2:00 p.m.