INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Southeast Region champion and No. 6 Carson-Newman Eagles will be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Elite Eight. The Eagles will face the No. 7 seed Union (Tenn.) Bulldogs on Monday (March 19) at 3:30 p.m. (EST) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Carson-Newman (32-2) advanced to the school's first-ever Elite Eight with a 75-71 triumph over No. 25 North Georgia Monday night in front of the largest crowd for a women's game in Holt Fieldhouse history. The Eagles tied a program record for wins in a season with its 32nd of the year, joining the 1984-85 squad that finished the season 32-3.
In South Atlantic Conference history, Carson-Newman becomes the fourth school to reach the Elite Eight. Wingate has gone three times, Mars Hill went in 2002 and Tusculum was the last school to reach the final eight in 2010.
Union and Carson-Newman have played five times, with Carson-Newman holding the upper hand in each meeting. All of the match-ups came when the schools were members of the NAIA. The most recent outing coming on Dec. 3, 1993 when the Eagles won 68-66 at Union.
Union won the South Regional as the top seed and was ranked No. 14 in the last WBCA poll of the year. After winning the first two games by double digits, the Bulldogs used two Chelsey Shumpert foul shots with five seconds left to beat seventh-seeded Valdosta State 74-73 on Monday night.
Shumpert ranks fourth in the country in scoring at 24.1 points per game and set the Gulf South Conference's scoring record in the region title game. The graduate student has made 104 triples, the third-most in the country on the year.
As a team, Union is the stingiest team in the nation turning the ball over just 10.9 times per game on the year. Only Glenville State has made more three-pointers than the 341 by the Bulldogs on the year. As an offense, Union posts 80 points per game, ninth in Division II, and is 13th in field-goal percentage.
The winner of the Carson-Newman/union matchup advances to the national semifinal to play the winner of No. 3 Lubbock Christian and No. 6 Central Missouri on Wednesday (March 21).