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NOTEBOOK:Richter Player of the Year

NAIA TOURNAMENT

BASKETBALL: She earns top honor on Kodak WBCA All-American team. Schmidt is first-team All-American.

March 15, 2007|By BARRY FAULKNER

JACKSON, Tenn. — Vanguard University junior Jessica Richter was named Kodak/Women's Basketball Coaches Assn. NAIA Player of the Year in Divisions I and II at a banquet Tuesday night.

Richter, the Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year, entered the NAIA Tournament averaging 21.2 points (second in NAIA Division I), 5.5 rebounds, 3.9 steals, and 3.1 assists per game.

She had 17 points, six rebounds, two steals and one assist in the Lions' 74-64 first-round win over Harris-Stowe University of St. Louis, Mo. Wednesday.

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In addition, Vanguard junior Kelly Schmidt last season's GSAC and NAIA Player of the Year, was named to the 10-player All-American team that covers NAIA Divisions I and II.

Schmidt, Vanguard's all-time leader in career points (2,584), and rebounds (1,028), came into the tournament having averaged 13.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals this season. She was also shooting 53.9% from the field before producing 19 points and 16 rebounds in the Lions' first-round win.

ONE BRUTAL BRACKET

Vanguard Coach Russ Davis did some grousing about his top-seeded team's draw in the 32-team tournament Wednesday, after the Lions dispatched a pesky Harris-Stowe University squad that came in with a 13-18 record.

Davis noted that Friday's second-round opponent, Oklahoma City (27-7), ranked No. 19 in the final NAIA Division I poll, was No. 3 in the preseason poll and spent the first four weeks of the season in the No. 2 spot.

"They've been ranked No. 2 in the nation for [a large portion] of the season, so to play them in the second round is interesting," said Davis, who wondered aloud if there weren't a half-dozen teams worse than Harris-Stowe, which turned out to be a tough first-round foe for the Lions.

WATCHING THE CLOCK

With eight games scheduled each of the first two days of the tournament, organizers have to be mindful of every minute. Wednesday's games began at 8:30 a.m., while today's schedule tips off at 9 a.m.

Perhaps it was good Wednesday's action began 30 minutes early, since Oklahoma City and Freed-Hardeman played two overtimes, immediately knocking the remaining seven games off schedule.

With so many games to play, there is only a 10-minute warm-up granted for each game. Utilizing its tournament experience, Vanguard, making its sixth consecutive trip and ninth overall appearance in the tournament, used halftime of the previous game to sneak in some extra warm-up activities Wednesday.

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