CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Lewis & Clark women's basketball team finished the 2010-11 season in style with its first ever trip to the NCAA Division III National Tournment, playing Howard Payne in the first round. The Pioneers fell to the Yellow Jackets 84-66 on Friday night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the first round, capping off the programs best season since transitioning to DIII.
The Pioneers have three players named to the Northwest Conference All-Conference team during the regular season, with Kristina Williams earning first-team and Christina Herring and Megan Spence earning second-team honors. Williams was also voted NWC Player of the Year, while head coach Juli Fulks was the NWC Coach of the Year.
Lewis & Clark learned of its at-large bid on Monday, March 1 during the NCAA tournament show. The Pioneers were selected into a bracket that saw them travel to Cedar Rapids. The Pios were selected into a bracket with three automatic qualifiers in Coe College, Minnesota-Morris and Howard Payne.
Both the Pioneers and the George Fox Bruins earned spots in the NCAA Tournament after ending regular season as NWC Co-Champions. The championship is the first for the Pioneers since transitioning to Division III. The last time the Pioneers earned a regular season conference championship was in 1993-94 when the program was a part of the NAIA.
The Pioneers were led by a game-high 22 points and 18 rebounds from Spence. The 6-0 junior finished the night 14-16 from the charity stripe, while pulling down 11 defensive boards. Margaret Dowling chipped in 12 points for the Pioneers, while collecting five rebounds. Williams contributed nine points to the Pioneers, while also coming down with five rebounds. All 15 of the Pioneers saw minutes during the contest.
The Yellow Jackets were led by 19 pionts by Jasmine Thomas and 18 from Brittany Roberson.
Lewis & Clark is set to return 14 of its 15 players next season, with Herring being the only senior.