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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 6:29 am | Fair 39º

 
 
 
 
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College Basketball

Westmont Basketball Teams Learn First-Round Foes at NAIA Nationals

The Westmont men's basketball team will square off with William Carey (Miss.) in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City. The two teams have identical 24-7 records. Carey was designated as the No. 4 seed in the Naismith Bracket while Westmont was tagged No 5.

The Warriors and Crusaders will face off on Thursday, March 16 on the second day of first round play.

This marks the first time in program history that Westmont has qualified for national championship play three years in a row. Two year ago, Westmont reached the championship game before falling to Dalton State (Ga.) in the title game.

"This is by far the most experienced team we have had go to the national championship," said Westmont head coach John Moore. "We have the benefit of going three years running. I think our best basketball has been played at the tournament the last three years."

The William Carey Crusaders, ranked at No. 14 in the Final NAIA Coaches Poll, compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference in which they tied  Third-ranked Dalton State (24-7) for first place in the regular season with a conference record of 16-4. The two teams met up in the SSAC Tournament final where Dalton State prevailed 90-80.

"We get to play an outstanding William Carey team that is well coached," said Moore. "Aside from (Biola's) Dave Holmquist, Steve Knight is probably the only coach in the tournament that has coached longer than I have. He is in his 35th year. He is also a very good friend and a guy I admire greatly. They will be an extremely challenging first round match-up, but every one of the teams would have been."

WESTMONT WOMEN GET A NO. 2 SEED 

Westmont Women’s Basketball (27-4) will face Louisiana State University Shreveport (22-9) in the first round of the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship on Thursday, March 16, at the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark in Billings, Montana.

The Warriors are the No. 2 seed in their quadrant (Duer Bracket) of the 32-team bracket, while the Pilots are seeded seventh.

“We are really excited for the opportunity we have ahead of us,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “I think that one of the main things that our experience brings is an understanding that every team in this tournament can win on any given night and that every single game is going to be a battle.”

“Last year two No. 6 seeds and one No. 5 seed made it to the final four,  so we just think that every single game is going to be a battle,” continued Moore. “The year we won the National Championship every single game was a single digit game, except one. So I think that we have a lot of respect for every single team, starting with LSU Shreveport."

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