SIOUX CITY, Iowa – No. 1 Northwestern (Iowa) rebounded from is first round scare with a dominant 92-68 win against No. 5 Huntington (Ind.) in the second round of the 2014 NAIA Division II women’s basketball national championship.
The Red Raiders are the second No. 1 seed to advance to the quarterfinals, joining Saint Francis who won earlier Friday.
Miranda Palmer led the Foresters with 17 points off the bench, while Amelia Recker added 15 points.
Huntington, who making its third all-time appearance in the second, ends the year with a 24-8 record.
With the win, the Red Raiders improve to 10-2 all time in the second round and advance to their seventh-straight quarterfinals. Northwestern entered the championship as the record holder in wins (44) and national titles (5).
Northwestern, co-regular season champion and tournament champion of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), limited Huntington to 56 total field goal attempts. The Red Raiders were dominant in the pant with a 48-24 scoring advantage in the lane, while also outscoring the Foresters, 16-4, on second-chance points.
Senior guard Alli Engebretson amassed a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the Red Raiders. Karen Hutson added 19 points and Samantha Kleinsasser had 16.
Northwestern took its first lead on a Paige O’Neal jumper in the paint, 7-5, early in the first half and never looked back. The Red Raiders pushed their lead out to as many as 12 during the period before a two-pointer by Pazia Speed cut the lead to 38-28 at the half.
The Red Raiders continued to assert themselves throughout the second half, allowing Huntington to pull no closer than eight points.
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