NIACC women face No. 1 Kirkwood in regional finals

NIACC's Hattie Davidson gets ready to battle for a rebound off a free throw in Thursday's game.
NIACC's Hattie Davidson gets ready to battle for a rebound off a free throw in Thursday's game.

CEDAR RAPIDS - The NIACC women's basketball team faces No. 1 Kirkwood in the NJCAA Region XI championship game Saturday.

Game time is set for 1 p.m.

The winner of Saturday's title game advances to the NJCAA Division II national tournament March 21-25 in Harrison, Ark.

Third-seeded NIACC (19-12) knocked off second-seeded DMACC 90-80 Thursday night in the regional semifinals to advance to its fourth straight championship game.

In Thursday's victory, NIACC was 12 of 32 from 3-point range. The Lady Trojans received four 3-point goals from Kelsie Willert and three each from Hattie Davidson and Taylor Laabs.

Kirkwood (32-0) stopped fifth-seeded Southwestern 79-52 in its regional semifinal on Thursday.

Kirkwood won both contests against NIACC in the regular season. The Eagles won 71-65 in Mason City on Feb. 1 and 93-81 in Cedar Rapids on March 1.

NIACC will be playing in its 11th regional final. The Lady Trojans are 8-2 in regional finals, including last season's 83-80 win over DMACC in Mason City.

Kirkwood will be playing in its 27th regional title game and the Eagles are seeking their 17th regional championship. The Eagles topped NIACC 78-67 in the 2015 regional final in Cedar Rapids.

Notes - NIACC has 329 3-point goals, which leads NJCAA Division II ... Highland CC (Kan.) ranks second with 319 3-point goals ... Kirkwood's coach Kim Muhl, who is in his 28th season, has a home record of 358-31 ... NIACC has won at Kirkwood the last three seasons during the regular season (90-87 in 2013-14, 84-71 in 2014-15 and 60-57 in 2015-16).

NIACC's statistical leaders

Scoring - Cierra Stanciel 10.5 ppg.; Taylor Laabs 10.4 ppg.; Kelsie Willert 9.2 ppg.

Rebounds - Khalilah Holloway 4.9 rpg.; Stanciel 4.8 rpg.; Morgan Cuffe 4.6 rpg.

3-point goals - Laabs 62, Willert 54, Hattie Davidson 39, Riley Galvin 36.

Assists - UU Longs 73, Stanciel 64, Laabs 61.

Steals - Stanciel 60, Laabs 50, Longs 42.

Kirkwood's statistical leaders

Scoring - Simone Goods 16.3 ppg.; Deleyah Harris 13.1 ppg.; Shaneequah Watkins 10.2 ppg.

Rebounds - Good 8.2 rpg.; Harris 6.8 rpg.; Watkins 4.3 rpg.

3-point goals - Megan Axcell 43, Watkins 29, Tayana Wilson 28.

Assists - Wilson 104, Olivia Usher 90, Watkins 79.

Steals - Harris 69, Watkins 44, Wilson 41.