Semifinals of the 2023 NAIA Women’s Basketball Championship
Mar 17, 2023
SIOUX CITY, Iowa The championship is set as defending national champion Thomas More (Ky.) and Clarke (Iowa) won their respective semifinal on Friday night inside the Tyson Events Center.

Clarke (Iowa) def. Dakota State (S.D.) 79-69

The second quarterfinal between Clarke (Iowa) and Dakota State (S.D.) was a game of runs. Clarke (Iowa) found itself with a five-point lead in the first quarter but Dakota State (S.D.) answered and closed the gap to one point before the first-quarter buzzer. DSU made an 11-2 run in the second quarter for a nine-point lead but a 17-3 run from Clarke put the Pride up by five points at the half. Clarke picked up where they left off at the half and extended their run by eight more points, which placed Clarke with a 13-point lead and the Pride would not relinquish that lead for the remainder of the contest.

Season Records: Clarke 32-4 | Dakota State (S.D.) 29-7

Game Highlights

Taylor Haase of Clarke led all scorers with 24 points. Three of her teammates also scored double-digits: Tina Ubl, Nicole McDermott, Giana Michels.
Michels also posted a double-double with 11 rebounds and 12 points
DSU had three players in double digits: Savannah Waldorf, Elsie Aslesen, Courtney Menning
Clarke held DSU to a 27.8 shooting percentage from behind the arc.
Clarke led the way in field goals (Clarke 46% | DSU 35.9%)
Clarke also won the rebound battle recording a total of 51 rebounds compared to Dakota States’ 28
Thomas More (Ky.) def. Central Methodist (Mo.) 71-61

Central Methodist (Mo.) took the early lead in the first semifinal, but Thomas More (Ky.) came from behind and took its first lead near the end of the quarter. The largest lead of the first half was 14, held by the Saints as TMU used a 26-16 quarter to extend their lead. CMU closed the gap out of the locker room to within one point. The Eagles went on to capture their second lead of the contest with just over two minutes to play in the third. The fourth quarter saw the Saints gain and hold a four-point advantage. The Saints converted on their free throw down the stretch to advance to their third-straight championship game appearance.

Season Records: Thomas More 31-3 | Central Methodist 35-1

Game Highlights

Alex Smith of Thomas More (Ky.) and Zutorya Cook of CMU tied for the game-high, each with 16 points.
Four of the five CMU starters scored in double digits in the effort.
Three of the Saints starters notched double digits in the victory.
CMU held the edge in rebounding by eight (CMU 41 | TMU 33).
The TMU bench provided 21 points to 10 for CMU’s bench.
The Saints shot 84.2% from the free-throw line (16-for-19).
Thomas More held the advantage in field goal percentage (TMU 42.6% | CMU 37.3%).
Thomas More makes it three straight appearances in the NAIA Women’s Basketball Championship game.