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Women's Basketball - Fri, Mar. 10, 2017
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SIOUX CITY, Iowa - The Marian women's basketball team left no doubt Friday night in the NAIA National Championship Second Round as the Knights ran away with a 96-69 victory over IU-East at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The Knights are now 32-3 on the season and advance to the quarterfinals to play undefeated Southeastern Saturday.

The first play of the game set the tone for the evening as Jenna Sullivan won the tip and Kellie Kirkhoff finished a layup just three seconds into the game. Points in the paint would become a theme throughout the evening as Marian found themselves close to the basket on almost every shot attempt. The Knights raced out to a quick 8-0 lead and forced IU-East to call a timeout less than two minutes into the game. Things did not improve for the Red Wolves after the timeout and the Knights led 29-12 after the first.

The second quarter was more of the same as Marian pounded the ball into the paint and hounded IU-East on the defensive end. The Knights led 50-32 at the halftime break and scored a whopping 40 points in the paint. 16 of Marian's points came on the fast break and the team shot 61 percent from the field. Marian usually fires away from 3-point land, but the Knights only took three attempts from deep in the first half and they hit two.

IU-East experienced little easy offense as the Red Wolves shot just 37 percent in the half and were 1-for-8 from beyond the arc. IU-East's leading scorer Tia King was held to 1-of-8 shooting for the half.

Marian put up 29 more points in the third quarter on 8-of-13 shooting and led 79-51 at the quarter break. The Knights' lead stretched to as much as 31 in the quarter and the fourth quarter was a breeze as IU-East never came closer than 24. 

Five different Knights scored in double figures, led by Jessica Almeida's 19. Kirkhoff added 15, while Candace Danz scored 14 and Dejah Cyrus tallied 12 points. Joana Soeiro scored 10 points and dished out seven assists. All 11 Knights played and scored at least two points. King finished 1-for-13 from the field and was 0-for-7 from 3-point land. She finished with just two points, which was 16 below her season average. 

Marian shot 56 percent for the game and held IU-East to 36 percent, while also winning the rebounding battle 42-33. Marian finished with 56 points in the paint and won the fast break points category 26-2.

The Knights will not take on Southeastern at 7 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals Saturday night. A live audio broadcast will be available on MUKnights.com.

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