Uniontown, PA – Top seeded Central Maine Community College (33-1) took an early lead and never looked back, defeating #2 Penn State Lehigh Valley (21-3) 74-57 in the 2017 Women's Division II National Championship game. The win marks Central Maine Community College's first women's National Championship.
From the start, the Lady Mustangs from Central Maine set the tone. They forced 17 Penn State Lehigh Valley turnovers in the first half and went into the locker rooms with a 17-point lead. Jenny Schlim, who scored 14 in the first half, led all scorers with 20 points. Brooke Reynolds, the Tournament MVP, added 8 points in the first half. The theme of the game was Central Maine's team play. Central Maine had 11 total players who scored in the game, with all 15 on roster seeing court time in their title pursuit. Central Maine's reserves accounted for more than double of its teams points.
The success continued for the Mustangs in the second half. A lay-up by Central Maine's Eraleena Gethers-Hairston at the eight-minute mark in the third quarter extended their lead to 51-39. The strong team defense and full court press of Central Maine held Lehigh Valley to just six points and seven turnovers in the third quarter. The third quarter drought by Penn State Lehigh Valley was compounded by Central Maine's 21 points.
Lehigh Valley could never make a true push in the fourth quarter, despite outscoring the Lady Mustangs 20-9 during the last 10 minutes. There was 107 total rebounds in the game. The Lady Mustangs made eight three-pointers and tallied 49 rebounds. Central Maine added 20 points from the foul line.
Jennifer Conrad, Southern Maine Community College
Shaquana Owens, Villa Maria College
Ashley Gordon, Penn State Lehigh Valley
Ebony Sanders, Penn State Lehigh Valley
Jenny Schlim, Central Maine Community College
Brooke Reynolds, Central Maine Community College