The Vanguard University women's basketball team used tape cutters exclusively for their intended purpose this season. The Lions, who open their 10th straight trip to the NAIA Tournament in Jackson, Tenn. today at 1:30 p.m. against Langston University, might, in fact, have worn out at least one pair in 2010-11, tending to an outbreak of injuries that crippled their chances to cut down the nets for an eighth straight campaign.
Coach Russ Davis and his players have ceremonially sheared nets from the rim about a dozen times in the previous seven seasons, piling up Golden State Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles, as well as the 2008 national championship.
This year's NAIA Tournament run, however, is virtually doomed from the start, as the No. 19-ranked Lions (17-11) are the underdog against Oklahoma-based Langston (28-5).
Vanguard is the No. 5 seed in its eight-team quadrant, while Langston, the Red River Conference champion, is seeded No. 4.