Morningside made just two of 27 3-point field goal attempts when it lost 76-69 to Marian in the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Tournament Quarterfinals.

Jessica Tietz

A cold shooting performance dashed Morningside’s hopes for a NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship when the No. 1-ranked Mustangs were upset 76-69 by No. 9 Marian in Saturday’s quarterfinals at the NAIA II Women’s Basketball National Tournament in Sioux City.

The defending national champion Mustangs shot just 39.1 percent from the field, including a two-for-27 performance for 7.4 percent from the 3-point arc.

Morningside, which entered the game riding a 14-game winning streak, bowed out with a 33-3 record. Marian, which entered the national tournament with three losses in its last five games, will take a 30-6 record into the NAIA II Semifinals.

Defending the 3-point shot was one of the Knights’ biggest strengths throughout the season. Marian entered the game ranked sixth nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 26.8 percent and lowered that figure in the NAIA Quarterfinals. Morningside made just two of 14 3-point field goal attempts in the first half and the second half was even worse for the Mustangs when they misfired on all 13 of their attempts after the intermission.

Morningside led just once, and that was less than two minutes into the game when a Jessica Tietz basket put the Mustangs up 4-2 with 8:36 left in the first quarter.

Marian outscored Morningside 21-15 in the first quarter and then only one point separated the two teams in each of the last three quarters.

The Mustangs trimmed one point off the margin to close within 39-34 at the intermission. Marian pushed its lead back to six points, 53-47, after three quarters and led by as many as nine points on three occasions in the fourth quarter.

Morningside rallied within three points three times in the second half, but was never able to get over the hump. The Mustangs closed within three points for the last time when a conventional 3-point play by Tietz made it a 59-56 game with 6:44 left to play.

Tietz finished with a double-double with game-high totals of 31 points and 14 rebounds to finish one off her career highs in each category. Tietz received double figure scoring support from Lexi Ackerman and Jordyn Wollenburg, who finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Only three other Mustangs scored with seven points from Lauren Lehmkuhl, six from Madison Braun, and four from Taylor Bahensky.

Lakan Hasser-Smith, the Crossroads League Player of the Year, led Marian with 19 points and was joined in double figures by Kellie Kirkhoff with 15 points and Anastacia Kirby with 14.

Tietz’s 14 rebounds, along with eight rebounds by Ackerman and seven each from Wollenburg and Lehmkuhl, paced the Mustangs to a 49-39 advantage on the boards.

The Knights’ Joana Soeiro dealt a game-high 12 assists to finish with two more than the Mustangs’ entire team total.

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