Evangels Square Off with No. 6 OCU in SAC Semifinals
The Evangels, under first-year coach Hannah Moeller, are currently 20-10 overall and finished 10-8 in the Sooner Athletic Conference. MACU began the season strong, starting 9-1 to match the program's best-ever start as an NAIA school.
In this week's NAIA Top 25 Coaches' poll, the Evangels received votes for the first time since 2013.
Sarai Rodriguez has been the offensive catalyst for the Evangels, leading the team with 20.1 ppg. She has 562 points this season, setting the school single-season mark as an NAIA program.
Rodriguez has also hit a team-high 79 threes and is second on the team with 106 assists on the season.
Mikki Flores is second in scoring with 12.5 ppg and has dished out a team-best 5.6 assists per game. She also has 167 total assists this year, the most in a single-season for the Evangels since joining the NAIA.
Jamie Lamb is scoring 9.3 ppg and Brittany Thompson leads the Evangels in rebounding with 6.5 boards per game. D'Shala Powell is right behind with 6.4 rebounds a game.
The Dish on the Stars: The No. 6-ranked and top-seeded Oklahoma City University Stars are on quite a roll, winners of 13 straight games and 26 of their last 27 overall to come in at 27-2. OCU, the SAC regular season champions, were 17-1 in the SAC.
Daniela Wallen leads the Stars in both points (24.1 ppg) and rebounds (9.2 rpg), with Daniela Galindo averaging 17.0 ppg along with a team-best 68 threes. Mariana Duran has recorded a team-leading 165 assists on the season for OCU.
The Series: The Evangels have dropped all 21 meetings against OCU since joining the NAIA after the Stars won both matchups this season. MACU held a three-point on OCU in the second half at home in the regular season finale last Saturday (Feb. 25), but the Stars went on a 26-6 run to pull away for an 85-68 win.
SAC Rematch: This is the second straight season the Evangels and Stars have met in the SAC semifinals. Last year, MACU gave OCU everything it wanted, but came up short 87-85 when a three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
Get out the Vote: For the first time since 2013, the Mid-America Christian University Evangels received votes in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches' poll. MACU received nine votes to come in at No. 31.
Offensive Showcase: The matchup with the Evangels and Stars will showcase two of the top three scorers in the NAIA this season. The Stars' Daniela Wallen leads the NAIA with 24.1 ppg, while Sarai Rodriguez of the Evangels is third at 20.1 ppg.