March 13th, 2009
NEWBERG, Ore. – George Fox University’s women’s basketball team is returning to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Division III national tournament following a 71-56 defeat of Oglethorpe University of Atlanta Friday at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky.
Friday’s victory sent the unbeaten Bruins (29-0), ranked No. 2 in the USA Today/ESPN/Women’s College Basketball Association poll, into an Elite 8 matchup against either Thomas More (28-2) or Hope College (27-1) Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern (4 p.m. Pacific) at host Thomas More.
This marks the first time since 2005 that George Fox has reached the Elite 8 round of the tournament.
George Fox University will host an Elite 8 party in the Klages Dining Hall on its Newberg, Ore., campus beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, as a live video feed of the game will be broadcast for students and fans.
The winners of Saturday’s Elite 8 games will advance to the Final Four round, to be contested at Hope University in Holland, Mich., March 20-21.
Friday, Keisha Gordon scored a game-high 15 points, Elise Kuenzi scored 13 points and added nine rebounds, and Kristen Shielee added 10 points and 12 boards in the win over No. 5 Oglethorpe.
The Bruins earned a spot in Friday’s game by beating Chapman University of California 83-40 in a second-round matchup March 7 at George Fox. The Bruins had a bye in the first round of the tournament.
George Fox became only the second team in the history of the Northwest Conference and its predecessor conference, the Women’s Conference of Independent Colleges, to go undefeated through conference play, going 16-0 to win the league title by five games. George Fox also finished unbeaten for the regular season (25-0), then won two Northwest Conference tournament games.
The Bruins’ remarkable success this season was somewhat unexpected after losing all five starters and seven seniors from the 2007-08 team that went 25-5 and lost to No. 1-ranked Hope in the “Sweet 16.” With only four returning letter winners and 10 freshmen on the roster, George Fox was picked fifth in the NWC preseason poll.
George Fox University is the only Christian university in the Pacific Northwest classified by U.S. News & World Report as a national university, and Forbes.com rates George Fox highest among top Christian colleges on the West Coast. More than 3,200 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 12 master’s and doctoral degrees.
Director of Public Information