The #3 Rochester College Warriors won the 2018 USCAA Women’s Division I Basketball National Championship upsetting the #1 Paul Quinn College Tigers.
Rochester started this game firing on all cylinders. In the first quarter they jumped ahead 16-2, wreaking havoc on defense and scoring at will. Paul Quinn adjusted and went on their own run, outscoring Rochester 12-4 to end the half and get back into the game. Guard Amanda Cruz anchored Paul Quinn with 10 points in the first half while Rochester’s Allyssa Copley had 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Copley would later be named the tournament MVP as she finished the game with 15 rebounds, 13 points, 6 blocks, 5 assists, and 3 steals in 38 minutes of play.
After entering the half down 34-31, the Tigers came roaring out of the locker room. They eventually took a 43-39 lead on a Teanna Frances-Henderson jump shot. Frances-Henderson would finish the game with 14 points shooting 70% from the field and grabbing 10 rebounds.
A moment late in the third quarter proved to be pivotal for the Warriors from Rochester Hills, Michigan, who lost on a buzzer-beater in last year’s semi-final match up against Berea College. Devan Valko, who scored 16 points on the day and was 4-8 from 3-point range, sank a 3-pointer to tie the game 45-45. Rochester never looked back, going on an 11-0 run that would extend into the 4th quarter. Paul Quinn could never mount a comeback.
As a team, Rochester was 17-24 from the free throw line while Paul Quinn was just 4-15. Sisters Maddy and Devan Valko scored 16 points apiece, combining for 7 of the 9 3-pointers for Rochester. Teanna Frances-Henderson and Amanda Cruz both scored 14 points, which were team highs for Paul Quinn.
Women’s Division I Tournament MVP
Allyssa Copley, Rochester College
Women’s Division I All-Tournament Team
Toni Cox, Florida College
Maddy Valko, Rochester College
Alexis Johnson, Paul Quinn College
Amanda Cruz, Paul Quinn College
Danelle Buck, Silver Lake College