SIOUX CITY - The first-ever national tournament berth for the Reinhardt University women's basketball team was a shortlived one.
The Lady Eagles fell 62-42 to second-ranked Saint Francis (Ind.) in Wednesday's opening round of the NAIA Division II National Tournament inside the Tyson Events Center, ending their season 19-15 overall.
Reinhardt was led by Taylor Johnson's 12 points and 10 more from Hannah Mayo.
Marshalltown High School graduate Tara Hay was held to nine points on an off-night shooting, as she finished 3-for-18 from the field and 0-for-6 from 3-point range. Hay, the team's leading scorer heading into the tournament, contributed two assists, two rebounds and a steal in nearly 34 minutes of court time in her collegiate finale.
Kayla Drake scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Lady Cougars into the second round for the first time in their last three postseason appearances. Saint Francis (31-3) will face Saint Xavier (Ill.), which gave the Lady Cougars their first loss this season on Dec. 29, 2012, in the finals of the Saint Xavier 2012 Holiday Tournament in Chicago.
The Lady Eagles went toe-to-toe with Saint Francis in the first half until a 9-0 helped the Lady Cougars take the lead for good. SFU went into halftime ahead by 10, 32-22, and Reinhardt would never get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Reinhardt shot 23.3 percent from the field in the second half and got rebounded 45-34 overall.
Saint Francis will meet Saint Xavier in Friday's second round game at noon in Sioux City.
NAIA D-II MEN
Statesmen rally in opener
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - Top-ranked and top-seeded William Penn needed to rally in the second half to overcome upset-minded McPherson (Kan.) College for a 71-65 victory in Wednesday's opening round of the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament at Keeter Gymnasium on the College of the Ozarks campus.
Brandon Beasley had game highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead William Penn (31-1), which trailed 30-25 at the half. The Statemen outscored the Bulldogs 46-35 in the second half to advance to the second round for the first time in the program's four trips into the postseason.
West Marshall High School graduate Ross Howe, a 6-foot-5 junior forward at William Penn, saw just 1:33 of court time in the win.
Howe has now played in all 32 games this season for the Statesmen, having contributed 3.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
William Penn advances to face Bethel (Ind.) in Friday's noon second-round pairing. The Pilots (24-9) breezed through their opener, 73-49 over Embry-Riddle (Fla.).