The University of Saint Francis Cougars defeated the #1 seed Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats on Monday night to claim the 2012-13 Crossroads League Women's Basketball Tournament Championship. The #2 seeded Cougars nipped the Wildcats by a final score of 54-58. Saint Francis will join the Wildcats in NAIA Tournament Play, gaining the 2nd automatic bid for the Crossroads League.
After finishing the season tied for first in final league standings, the Cougars and Wildcats battled feircely for the tournament championship crown. In a game with numerous lead changes, it came down to the final minutes of play to see the Cougars pull away with a 6 point margin.
Both teams will represent the Crossroads League in NAIA National Championship, which will be played March 6-11th, hosted by Sioux City, IA.
A final tournament bracket can be found at the link below.
Update - The Championship pairing for the 2012-13 Crossroads League Women's Basketball Tournament has been finalized. The top seeded Wildcats of Indiana Wesleyan will face the #2 Cougars of Saint Francis in this seasons tournament championship.
Following their identical regular season records, tieing for 1st and the regular season championship, it seems apropo that the #1 Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats, and the #2 Saint Francis Cougars will meet in Monday's Championship game to battle for the Crossroads League Tournament Championship crown. Both teams cruised through their semifinal games, at the final buzzer winning by healthy margins.
The Wildcats kept up their winning ways, defeating #5 Huntington 64-53 to claim their place in the 2012-13 Championship. The Cougars hardly broke step in their march to this year's tournament final, defeating #3 Bethel 71-44.
In head to head play, both teams claimed 1 victory during the 2012-13 regular season, the Cougars drawing first blood with a 62-55 victory in their first meeting, and the Wildcats scratching out a 59-57 win when the two teams met for the second time in February.
The 2012-13 Crossroads League Tournament will be played Monday, February 25th, at 7:00pm As the higher seeded team Indiana Wesleyan will host Saint Francis.
Update- Women's Basketball Tournament Bracket has been updated following the completion of the first round of play. Semifinal games will be played Friday, February 22nd, 7:00pm tip off.
Top seed Indiana Wesleyan breezed by #8 Mount Vernon, winning 78-52 to move on to the semifinal round. The Wildcats will host Huntington. The #5 Foresters upset #4 Taylor 69-64 on Tuesday evening.
#2 Saint Francis will meet #3 Bethel in the other semifinal game. The Cougars swept aside #7 Marian posting a 84-58 victory over the knights. The Pilots also won by a comfortable 18 point margin, defeating #6 Grace 77-59.
After posting impressive 16-2 records in league play Saint Francis and Indiana Wesleyan have ended the regular season tied for 1st in league standings. In order to crown a Crossroads League Regular Season Champion and assign the first automatic bid to the NAIA tournament the tiebreakers prescribed in the Crossroads League Procedures Manual have been followed. The Cougars and Wildcats were 1-1 in head to head play this season, leaving them still tied after considering tiebreaker #1. Applying tiebreaker #2 still did not single out a top seed, as both teams posted the same record against the other 8 teams in league play. Both the Wildcats and Cougars only other defeat was to Bethel College, meaning that when comparing their records against league teams in order of final league standings we still cannot break the tie.
Tiebreaker #3 has come into play at this point, necessitating a coin toss to determine which team will claim the #1 seed for tournament play. The coin toss has been administered by the women's basketball sport chair, Tena Krause Head Coach at Taylor University, and Indiana Wesleyan will be this year's #1 seed in tournament play. The Wildcats will also receive the Crossroads League's first automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships. Indiana Wesleyan and Saint Francis are the 2012-13 Crossroads League Regular Season Co-Champions.
Indiana Wesleyan defeated the Maple Leafs of Goshen College 79-54 to end their regular season campaign. The Leafs finish in 10th place in final league standings and will not participate in the 2012-13 Crossroads League Tournament. A tough 2012-13 for the Leafs ends with a 1-17 league record, 3-27 overall. The Wildcats
The Cougars of Saint Francis defeated Mount Vernon 66-58 in their final meeting. Mount Vernon claims the #8 seed in tournament and will travel to play #1 Indiana Wesleyan. The Cougars finish the regular season tied for first with a 16-2 record, but fall to Wesleyan via tiebreaker and will be the #2 seed.
The Lady Cougars of Saint Francis will host the #7 Knights of Marian in their opening round of tournament play. Marian Takes the 7th seed following their loss to Bethel, the Knights finish the 2012-13 season with a 6-12 league record,
Taylor wrapped up the 4th seed, with a victory over Grace by a 78-66 score. The Lancers will enter the 2012-13 tournament as the #6 seed, losing the head to head tiebreaker with Huntington for the 5th seed. The Trojans will host Huntington in the opening round of tournament play, slated for this Tuesday, February 19th. Huntington beat the Cougars of Spring Arbor by a 70-60 scoreline, eliminating the cougars from post season play, and claiming the #5 seed.
Spring Arbor will finish the 2012-13 season outside of tournament qualification with a 4-14 record. The Cougars conclude their regular season with a 10-20 overall record.
The Lancers of Grace College will open their tournament play by traveling to face the #3 seeded Bethel Pilots. One of the few teams to know their fate ahead of Saturday's results, Bethel defeated Marian 78-64 in their final regular season game and will finishes the year with a 14-4 league record.
The Crossroads League Women's Basketball Tournament will feature the top 8 teams in the final league standings, who will compete in a single elimination tournament. The opening round of tournament play will be held Tuesday, February 19th. Semifinals will be held Friday, Febrary 22nd, and the tournament Championship will be played Monday, February 25th. All games will be hosted by the higher seeded team. Opening round games will have a 7:00pm tip off time unless otherwise noted. The winner of the Crossroads League Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships.