Rodriguez joins 1,000-point club in NCCAA third place game

WINONA LAKE, IND. – The second-seeded Mid-America Christian University Women’s Basketball Evangels concluded the 2016-17 season with a 92-76 setback to the top-seeded Roberts Wesleyan College Redhawks in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Third-Place game today (Mar. 18) at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center in Winona Lake, Ind.

In the defeat, history was still made as junior Sarai Rodriguez passed the 1,000 point mark for her career with a score early in the first quarter.  She finished with 16 points to give her 1,015 career points, the most in the Evangels’ NAIA history.

Rodrigurez also finished the season with 674 points and 101 threes, both single-season highs for the Evangels as an NAIA program.

The Redhawks led today from the outset, scoring the first five points of the game and quickly extending the lead to double-figures at the midway point of the first quarter and led 25-13 going to the second period.

After the Redhawks pushed the lead to 24, Jessica Fairley and Rodriguez teamed up to each score four points to lead an 8-0 spurt for the Evangels and trim the lead to 16.

A basket by Morgan Patton then gave the Redhawks a 48-30 lead at the break.

The Redhawks remained in control into the third quarter and eventually stretched the lead to a game-high of 29 points when the Evangels made a late charge behind eight points from Rodriguez that fueled a 16-2 burst.

Jamie Lamb capped the run with a three-point play that brought the Evangels with 82-67 with 4:03 left.

But the Redhawks responded with a 7-2 run that built the lead back to 20 to put it away with 2:19 left.

The Evangels still wouldn’t go quietly though and climbed as close as 13 on a three by Nevada Denton with 24 seconds left.

Lamb, playing in her final game as an Evangel, scored a team-high 18 points. Janaya Hines scored 11 and Mikki Flores had 10 points. Flores, a sophomore guard, finished the season with a school single-season mark (as an NAIA school) 206 assists.

Senior D’Shala Powell had five rebounds, giving her 561 career boards, which is 11 shy of Karina Trindade’s school record as an NAIA program.

Senior Erika Brown also received her third career start in her final outing at MACU.

Emily Miller paced the Redhawks (21-13) with a double-double of 27 points and 13 rebounds, with Taya Andrews scoring 17 and Lucy Covley chipping in with 15. Necedah James added 13 points.

MACU wound up 23-13 in head coach Hannah Moeller’s first season, the highest win total for the program since joining the NAIA.

“I’m so incredibly proud of all this group of young women accomplished this season,” Moeller said. “They worked extremely hard for every win that went into a record breaking season. I am thankful to our seniors for their commitment to the program and am excited as we look ahead for what’s to come.”