A rubber game with Peru State looms large for Haskell Indian Nations University’s women’s basketball team.
The Indians will meet the Bobcats at 5 p.m. today in a semifinal of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament in Branson, Mo.
“If we beat Peru State,” HINU coach Phil Homeratha said, “I think we have a chance at an at-large bid in the national tournament.”
The 32-team NAIA Div. II women’s national tourney is scheduled March 10-16 in Sioux City, Iowa.
Haskell (20-7) is ranked No. 22 in this week’s Div. II poll while Peru State (15-15) is unranked.
“Their record is deceptive,” Homeratha said, “because they play a lot of tough teams in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.”
Haskell and Peru State split their home-and-home series. On Jan. 29, the Indians won, 79-76, in Peru, Neb., as Maria Parker and Justina George scored 21 and 18 points, respectively. A week later at Coffin Complex, the Bobcats prevailed, 74-67.
George, a 5-7 senior from Ramah, N.M., is Haskell’s leading scorer with a 17.8 average. George also averages 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 4.0 steals.
Parker, a 6-0 senior from Green Bay, Wis., is the other half of Haskell’s 1-2 punch. Parker is averaging 16.9 points and 7.0 rebounds.
MCAC champion and No. 6-ranked College of the Ozarks will meet College of St. Mary in tonight’s other semifinal. The championship is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.
Haskell’s men’s team failed to qualify for the MCAC Tournament. Coach Ted Juneau’s team finished with a 5-24 record.