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Westmont Plays for Women’s National Hoop Title


Westmont College was one of 32 schools vying in the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships less than a week ago. Today (Tuesday, March 19), after winning four games in five days, the Warriors are in the final two. They face Lee University of Tennessee in the championship game at the Frankfort (Ky.) Convention Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 3:35 p.m. (PDT) and will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network (Channel 284 on Cox Cable).

Westmont (29-4) upset top-ranked Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) in Monday’s “Fab Four” semifinals, 59-49. Senior forward Tugce Canitez and sophomore guard Esther Lee each scored 19 points for the Warriors. Freed-Hardeman brought a 21-game winning streak into the contest.

Lee’s Lady Flames (34-2) scored their 17th straight victory in the other semifinal, edging Cumberland (Tenn.), 43-41. Both finalists are trying to win their first national basketball title.

UCSB received a bid to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, where the Gauchos (16-16) will face a tough opening-round opponent Wednesday night. They will play at San Diego State (26-6), which lost to Fresno State in the finals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. UCSB lost to Cal Poly, the eventual champion, in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament. Three other Big West teams – Pacific, Hawaii and Long Beach State – were invited to the WNIT.

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