JOPLIN, Mo. – The top-ranked Lady Patriots were on a level above everyone else in 2014-15.
A year removed from a runner-up finish in the NCCAA Women’s Division II National Championship, Arlington Baptist College used a second half explosion to sprint away from Central Christian College of the Bible, 109-72, to earn the NCCAA Women’s Division II National Championship at the Ozark Christian College Multipurpose Building on Saturday night.
The sixth-ranked and No. 3 seed Lady Saints did all that they could in the first half to hang with the Lady Patriots in what was a blistering-paced period of basketball. Though they had a bit of success matching Arlington Baptist’s speed, by halftime Central Christian trailed 47-39, and was completely exhausted.
Arlington Baptist (29-5) opened the second half with a 26-4 run over the next 5:18 and expanded their lead to a 30-point margin at 73-43. The lead swelled to 39 points at 93-54 with 9:48 left in the game as the Lady Patriots continued to push the ball to stay in full control. Arlington Baptist spent all season ranked No. 1 in NCCAA Division II and finished the season unbeaten against NCCAA DII opponents at 18-0.
Four players scored 20-plus points for Arlington, led by Tori Wise with 26 points. Rosalyn Thorpe had 25 points and 14 rebounds, while NCCAA Division II Player of the Year Jade Johnson scored 23 points and national tournament MVP Morgan Hale finished with 21.