SOU seeded No. 5 for national tournament

Southern Oregon University was tapped as a No. 5 seed and will play No. 4-seeded St. Ambrose University in the first round of the NAIA Division II women's basketball tournament Wednesday night at Sioux City, Iowa.

Tipoff is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. local time, 7:45 Pacific, at the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena.

The No. 18-ranked Raiders (29-4) will be making their first national tournament appearance since 2003, when they suffered their second first-round loss in as many years.

SOU clinched a trip to nationals by beating The College of Idaho Monday night in the Cascade Conference tournament championship game. The St. Ambrose Queen Bees (28-5), ranked No. 15 in the final top 25 poll, earned their automatic berth by beating Iowa Wesleyan on Monday in the Midwest Collegiate Conference tournament championship game.

"First off, I think getting a fifth seed for our conference is pretty good," SOU head coach Lynn Kennedy said. Looking at (the Queen Bees') roster, they're a young team, they shoot a lot of 3s and they're an outside oriented team. So they're probably similar to us."

St. Ambrose is led by Midwest Collegiate Conference player of the year Jenny Clark, a 5-foot-6 sophomore guard who led the MCC in assists per game (5.2) and was second in steals (3.2).

The SOU-St. Ambrose winner will play either No. 2-ranked and top-seeded Morningside College (30-3) or unranked Berea (20-11) in the second round of the 32-team tournament, which wraps up with the national championship game on March 18.

The single elimination tourney is made up of four eight-team sections, each seeded separately.

Kennedy said the Raiders will fly out of Portland on Monday and expect to arrive in Iowa by about 2 a.m. Tuesday.

The national tournament bracket can be viewed at .

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