Aquinas (Michigan) took a 2-0 lead over Hastings in the first minute of their first-round game at the NAIA Division II women's basketball national tournament Thursday in Sioux City, Iowa. It was the only lead the Saints would have.
Shandra Farmer, a Hastings St. Cecilia grad, hit a three early in the first quarter to give Hastings a 5-2 lead, and the Broncos rolled for a 54-46 win.
Trailing 31-27 at halftime, the Saints cut the lead to two points on a basket by Michaela Faber. The Broncos came back with a 15-2 run through the rest of the third and into the fourth quarter to lead 46-31 with 7:38 to play. The Saints were never closer than seven points after that.
Blue Hill graduate Mackenzie Willicott scored 12 points to lead Hastings, which only shot 31.3 percent (21-of-67) from the floor. But the Hastings defense gave Aquinas fits, limiting the Saints to just 25.9 percent shooting (including 4-of-20 on threes) and making 13 steals, part of 22 Aquinas turnovers. That helped the Broncos overcome Aquinas' 62-32 edge in rebounding, led by Faber's 25.
Hastings will face the winner of the College of the Ozarks-Kansas Wesleyan game at 8:45 p.m. Friday. Top-ranked Concordia faces Cardinal Stritch (Wisconsin) at noon Friday. Taylor University knocked off Bellevue 85-48 in the first round Thursday.