The Nova Southeastern University’s women’s basketball team won their second consecutive South Region title, taking the lead with under a minute left and holding on by three over Tampa on Monday night at the NSU Arena, 56-53.
The Sharks (28-4) move on to the NCAA Elite Eight, in Erie, Penn., to take on the Central Region’s No. 7 seed, Concordia-St. Paul. The 28-8 Golden Bears, unranked in the final USA Today Coaches’ poll, pulled off three major upsets to win the region, knocking off No. 2-seeded Harding (No. 2 in the nation), third-seeded Central Missouri (No. 8) and top seed, Emporia State (No. 7). Their matchup will take place Tuesday, March 25, at 2:30 p.m.
On Monday, there were nine lead changes in the second half alone, but none bigger than Richelle Carach‘s (Sr., Naples, Fla.) driving lay-in with 33 seconds left. On Tampa’s ensuing possession, Keke Jones drove baseline, where a waiting Carach took the charge to give the Sharks the ball back with 6.1 to go.
With 5.0 seconds on the clock, Amanda Burakoski (Sr., Brooklyn, N.Y.) made two free throws to put the Sharks up three. On the in-bound, up three, NSU immediately fouled UT guard Diamond Posey, who was making her first appearance in the game. With just 3.0 seconds to go, she missed the front end of the 1-and-1, and Jessica Russi (Sr., Lake Mary, Fla.) pulled down the rebound and dribbled out the clock for the win.
Russi paced the Sharks with a season-high 19 points, adding eight assists, four rebounds and three steals, while only committing one turnover. She went 6-of-7 from the free throw line, and was the only NSU player in double digits. Jasmine Wilkins (R-Jr., Miami, Fla.) had nine points and eight rebounds, Burakoski nine points and seven boards, and Carach eight points.
About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 314 beautiful acres in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at all levels. NSU is a not-for-profit independent institution with 27,000 students. NSU awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and it is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification. For more information, please visit www.nova.edu. Celebrating 50 years of academic excellence!
Jonathan Fraysure | Athletic Communications Coordinator
(954) 262-8235 (office)