KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 5, 2020) – The Johnson & Wales (Fla.) women's basketball team (22-7) will make its first appearance in the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship, facing the Hasting (Neb.) Mustangs (30-3) in opening-round action on Thursday, March 12. Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. (ET).
This year's event will be held March 11-17 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Coming off the team's first Sun Conference Championships, JWU enters next week's action riding a six-game winning streak. With a school-record 22 wins, the Wildcats averaging 71.2 points-per-game (No. 43 in the nation) and 45.2 rebounds-per-contest (No. 2 in the nation). JWU is led by First-Team All-Sun Conference selection and TSC Tournament MVP Tianna Ayulo, who comes into the tourney averaging 18.7 points-per-game (No. 14 in the nation), 7.8 rebounds-per-game, and 2.4 steals-per-contest (No. 37 in the nation).
Hastings (Neb.) enters the tournament as the No. 4 overall seed and ranked No. 4 in the final NAIA regular season coaches poll. The Mustangs, winners of four of their last six contests, fell to No. 1-ranked Concordia in the GPAC Tournament Finals. Hastings is averaging 76.4 points-per-game (No. 25 in the nation) while holding the opposition to 57.9 points-per-game (No. 10 in the nation).
This will mark the first meeting between the two schools.
The 2020 field consists of 25 automatic berths and 7 at-large spots. Automatic qualification is given to conference regular-season champions, regular-season runners-up, tournament champions or tournament runners-up depending on the league. At-large teams were determined using the final regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll released today. To access the poll, click HERE.
The NAIA Network (www.NAIANetwork.com) – the association's official video streaming home – will broadcast the first 28 games leading up to semifinals and championship game on ESPN3. The video platform, powered by Stretch Internet, allows users to access video, statistics, and social interaction on a number of devices, including mobile. Single-day passes can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament package is available at $34.95.
Follow women's basketball (@JWUWBBallNM) and all of JWU's 11 athletic teams on Twitter (@JWUAthleticsNM), YouTube (JWUAthletics), and Instagram (theWildcatWay).
About JWU Athletics: JWU Athletics is home to more than 150 student-athletes in 11 different sports. Established in 1998, JWU Athletics is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Sun Conference. Athletic events are held the Wildcat Center and the Miami Shores Recreation Complex (9825 NE 7th Ave., Miami Shores, FL 33138).
About JWU: Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with approximately 13,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, Rhode Island; North Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Charlotte, North Carolina. An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, design and engineering, education, health and wellness, hospitality, nutrition and physician assistant studies. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth. The university's impact is global, with alumni from 125 countries pursuing careers worldwide. For more information, visit jwu.edu.
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