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Eagles women advance to HAAC championship game

March 7, 2011
For more information, contact Bob Luder at 816.501.2434.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo - - Avila University's women's basketball team, behind a stellar performance from junior point guard Torie Murillo, upset second-seeded Lindenwood, 81-72, Friday night in St. Charles, Mo. and advanced to the championship game of the Heart of America Athletic Conference post-season tournament.

The Eagles, 19-12 and seeded third, will host that final game against No. 8 Graceland at 7 p.m. Monday at Mabee Fieldhouse with an automatic berth to the NAIA Division I national tournament at stake.

The Eagles continued their season-long trend of strong second-half performances. They trailed the Lions by four, 42-38, at halftime, but poured it on over the final 20 minutes to pull away for what has to be considered their biggest victory of the season. Murillo, who has led the nation in steals the entire season, also had her best game. She made 11 of 20 shots from the field to score a game-high 28 points. She completed a double-double with 10 rebounds and was one assist from a triple-double, with nine. She also contributed four steals in 40 minutes of playing time.

Junior guard Brittany Townsend added 18 points for the Eagles, while senior center Alyson Young scored 17 on 7-of-8 shooting from the field.

For the game, the Eagles shot 55 percent from the field. However, they struggled from the free throw line, making just 57 percent. Still, they survived and will now play Graceland, which the Eagles defeated twice during the regular season.

Everyone is encouraged to come out Monday night and cheer on the Lady Eagles as they try to qualify for a berth to the national tournament!



Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.