SIOUX CITY | Morgan Hamner may have the best range of any of the posts playing in the NAIA Division II Women’s National Tournament.
Late in the first half, when Grand View made a 7-0 run to stretch a narrow lead, Hamner, a 6-foot-1 senior, made her 10th 3-point basket of the season. She finished with 25 points and 18 boards as the 19th-ranked Vikings reached the tournament’s second round with a 58-44 victory over No. 13 Purdue Calumet.
“I can’t tell you how many double-doubles she has had, but it’s a bunch,” said 36-year veteran Grand View Coach Garey Smith, who picked up his 714th career victory (252nd at Grand View).
“She’s a force down there. We thought we could take advantage of them down there. Normally then, when she starts running everyone down there, that’s when our shooters start to shoot, but we didn’t shoot very much on the outside. We’re going to have to work on that tomorrow.”
Amy Vos, a 5-11 senior, added 13 points and nine rebounds for Grand View (22-6), which will face No. 2 Indiana Wesleyan (31-3) in a second-round game that will start at 8:45 tonight. It’s the fourth time in the last five years that Smith (714-442 career record) has guided the Vikings to the second round and the fifth time overall.
Tierra Turner came off the bench to score 18 points for Purdue Calumet (21-10), which was competing in its first national tournament since the 1995-96 season when it participated in an NAIA Division I event. Coach Tom Megyesi’s team, which also got 13 points from Alex Starr, lost in their bid to become the fourth team from the Chicagoland Collegiate Conference to win in the opening round.
Purdue Calumet entered the tournament ranked third in Division II with an 83.7 scoring average. Grand View became the 11th team to hold the Peregrines, 17.2 percent shooters for the game, below 80 points.
“Hats off to Grand View, they have a great team,” Megyesi said. “They’re well-coached. Their big girl was dynamic. It was a good team effort on their part. They used their strengths to beat us. I was very impressed with them.”
Grand View held Purdue Calumet without a field goal for close to six minutes late in the second half. Starr ended the streak with a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer that pulled her team within 30-23 at halftime.
An offensive rebound by 6-3 freshman center Patrice McBee led to a Turner basket that lifted Purdue Calumet within 30-27 2:30 into the second half. Hamner’s inside basket launched a 10-1 run where the Vikings held the Peregrines without a field goal for a 12-minute stretch.
“We are pretty much a defensive team,” Smith said. “We’ve held teams to low shooting percentages all year. We did give them too many offensive boards in the second half, way too many. We usually don’t do that. We take care of business down there.”