For the second time in four seasons, the MIAA will have two teams participating in the Sectional Semifinal round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship, as both Trine and Hope posted victories in the First and Second Rounds to advance in the national tournament.
No. 11-ranked Trine (26-3) will travel to face No. 2 Wartburg (29-0) Friday, March 9, with the winner taking on the winner of East Texas Baptist (24-6) and No. 8 St. Thomas (Minn.) (27-2) Saturday, March 10.
No. 4-ranked Hope (28-1) will again serve as the host school for two rounds, hosting No. 20 Christopher Newport (25-4) in the Sectional Semifinal Friday, March 9; the winner of that game will face the winner of No. 3 Thomas More (28-1) and Gustavus Adolphus (24-6) Saturday, March 10.
Trine traveled to Bloomington, Ill. for 1st/2nd Round action March 2-3, first earning a 65-50 victory over No. 10 DePauw March 2; in that game, the Thunder out-scored DePauw 40-21 in the second half to pull away. In the Second Round, Trine defeated host No. 18 Illinois Wesleyan, 79-70, thanks to career performances by Kayla Freeman and Cassidy Williams, who scored 21 and 20 points, respectively.
Hope advanced with a 75-50 First Round win over Cornell College March 2, with Francesca Buchanan posting a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. In the Second Round, Hope upended Washington-St. Louis, 85-69, thanks to a 25-point performance by Kenedy Schoonveld.
The 2018 Division III Women's Basketball Championship will culminate with the final four teams competing at Mayo Clinic Civic Center in Rochester, Minn.