Samford women to face Duke in NCAA tournament

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The 15th-seeded Samford women's basketball team will travel to Nashville, Tenn., to take on the second-seeded Duke Blue Devils in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 18, at Vanderbilt's Memorial Gymnasium.

"This is as good as it gets," Samford head coach Mike Morris said. "When you play basketball at Division I, men or women, this is what it is all about, having the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament, the biggest stage at the biggest time of year."

Samford earned its second-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Southern Conference Tournament with a 54-43 win over Appalachian State last Monday.

This season, Samford posted a record of 20-12, earning at least 20 wins for the fifth-straight season and the sixth time in the last seven years. The Bulldogs were 12-8 in SoCon play this season.

Samford was led this season by its three senior starters. Senior guard Paige Anderson averaged 12.4 points per game. Senior guard Ruth Ketcham was second on the team in scoring (8.8 ppg.), rebounding (4.3 rpg.) and assists (63). Fellow senior guard Jazmine Powers led the team in assists with 113 and steals with 63, and she averaged 7.4 points per game.

Duke posted a record of 24-5 overall and 15-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Blue Devils received an at-large bid after falling to North Carolina State in the ACC Tournament.

Duke was led this season by Elizabeth Williams, averaging 14.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Chelsea Gray led the Blue Devils in assists with 175, while averaging a second-best 12.0 points per game.

Joining Samford and Duke in Nashville will be host Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee. Vanderbilt was 22-9 this season, while MTSU posted a record of 26-6 this season.

The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2. In addition to the television broadcast, the game can be heard locally on WVSU-FM 91.1, or worldwide on the internet at