Statesmen headed to NAIA D-II final

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – The top-ranked William Penn University men’s basketball team picked up its biggest win of the NAIA Division II National Championships on Monday night, holding the Grace (Ind.) Lancers to their third-lowest point total of the season in a 79-58 semifinal triumph.

The Statesmen (34-1) advance to tonight’s 8 p.m. national finals against No. 2 Cardinal Stritch University (34-3), which defeated No. 6 Indiana University Southeast in Monday’s second national semifinal contest inside Keeter Gymnasium.

William Penn’s tournament wins had come by 6, 17 and 1 point prior to the Final Four, when the top-seeded Statesmen held Grace to 22 points in the second half to break away from a 36-all tie.

Four players scored in double figures for the Statesmen, led by Keith Steffeck’s 18.

West Marshall High School graduate Ross Howe, a 6-foot-5 junior forward from State Center, played just 3 minutes, 23 seconds off the bench for WPU and accumulated two fouls.

Tonight’s 8 p.m. championship game will be televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network.

In the NAIA D-II Women’s Basketball National Championship in Sioux City, No. 4 Indiana Wesleyan stunned the top-ranked hometown team from Morningside College, 65-64, to advance to tonight’s 6 p.m. championship game.

It was Indiana Wesleyan’s third straight win over a team from Iowa, having defeated Grand View University in the second round and another Sioux City team, Briar Cliff, in the quarterfinals.

Indiana Wesleyan will meet sixth-ranked Davenport (Mich.) in the 6 p.m. title bout, which also will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.