Uniontown, PA – Number one seed Concordia College Alabama (25-3) claimed the 2016 USCAA Women's Division I title Saturday, defeating #2 Iowa Wesleyan College (20-8) by a final score of 72-65. After being named Player of the Year Wednesday, Shuntavia Harris validated that award with a dominating performance in the title game, scoring 26 points and pulling down 13 rebounds to lead the Hornets to the championship crown.
Erica Ousley was also instrumental in the Concordia victory, adding 13 points and 5 assists, while Carshava Sutton and Mary Windom also recorded double-digit points for the Hornets.
Darby Massner led Iowa Wesleyan with 21 points and 8 rebounds, including going 6 of 8 from behind the arc. Kaylee Moseley was strong off the bench for the Tigers, scoring 11 points, including converting on three from distance. Breanna Hall and Rachel Williams were also in double digits for Iowa Wesleyan, scoring 10 apiece.
The first quarter was a story of three players. Ousley led Concordia out of the gate, scoring on three straight fast break layups in the game's first three minutes. A Dakota Flesner layup got Iowa Wesleyan on the board for the first time at the 6:36 mark.
For the balance of the opening stanza, Iowa Wesleyan's Massner and Concordia's Harris traded offensive blows from different areas of the floor. Massner showed the hot hand for the Tigers, hitting three from distance, while Harris used strong paint play and free throw shooting to score a quick 8 points in just one-and-a-half minutes of game clock. At the end of the first, the Hornets had a four-point lead over Iowa Wesleyan, 17-13.
A triple by Moseley to start the second quarter brought the Tigers to within one, but another Harris layup put the Hornets up 19-16. Iowa Wesleyan tied the game with a Massner three-pointer at 6:24, and then took the lead at 24-21 on their next possession via a Moseley three. A layup by gave the Tigers their largest lead of the game at 26-21 with 4:55 remaining in the half. From that point, Concordia used a balanced inside attack to go on a 13-4 run, giving the Hornets a 34-28 halftime lead.
To begin the third quarter, Concordia's Windom extended the Hornet lead to 9 with a three-pointer, although Iowa Wesleyan answered with five straight points to make it a two possession game at 37-33. However, Sutton converted an and-one and Windom again hit from distance to give Concordia a 10-point lead, 43-33. The teams traded baskets over the next several possessions, but Harris scored 7 points over the last two-and-a-half minutes over the quarter to give Concordia a 13-point lead heading into the final frame.
Despite being down by 18 points with 7:05 left in the game, Iowa Wesleyan used the long ball and strong defense to mount a valiant come-back attempt, cutting their deficit to just 5 points with 1:47 to play, but Concordia was able to hold on to the victory with a final score of 72-65.
For her efforts throughout the tournament, Concordia's Ousley was named 2016 Championship Most Valuable Player. The Hornets end one of the best seasons in school history with a 25-3 record and the school's fifth Women's Basketball National Championship since 2007.
The full list of the 2016 Women's Division I All-Tournament team is below.
2016 Women's Division I All-Tournament Team
Samantha Carapellucci, University of Maine-Fort Kent
Jackie Highstreet, Rochester College
Kaylee Moseley, Iowa Wesleyan College
Dakota Flesner, Iowa Wesleyan College
Shuntavia Harris, Concordia College Alabama
2016 Women's Division I Tournament MVP
Erica Ousley, Concordia College Alabama