Kayla Styles jump started the Spalding Univeristy Golden Eagles to their second consecutive SLIAC Tournament title, with 18 points and 13 rebounds in her teams 80-50 win over Eureka College. Styles had a hand in her teams first four baskets, with six points and an assist as Splading jumped out to an 11-2 lead at the start of the game.
With the Spalding offense off to a quick start, the suffocating Golden Eagle defense clamped down on Eureka, forcing them to miss seven of their first eight shots. It was often the Golden Eagle defense that led to points on the other end. In the sequence that best summed up the day, Styles swatted a Eureka shot near the basket and after gathering the ball, raced to the other end of the floor where she layed the ball in for two points after a two-on-one fast break pass from Jessica Guy.
Spalding's lead quickly grew to double digits as Kallie Ash dropped in a three pointer to make the score 16-5 at the 14:18 mark. The Golden Eagle advantage increased to 20 points when Dee Dee Sliter hit a jumper with just under nine minutes left in the first half.
Styles led Spalding with 18 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks, and three steals while Jessica Guy added 11 points and six rebounds. Ash finished the game with nine points and two assists earning All-Tournament team honors while Styles was named Tournament MVP.
Eureka was paced by Kelsey Shoemake who scored a game high 21 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and was named to the All-Tournament team as was teammate Emily Camden who finished the game with 14 points. Also named to the All-Tournament team were Kelly Lenz, from Greenville College; and Andrea Zalis, from Westminster College.
Spalding is now 22-4 overall, winning their second straight SLIAC Tournament Championship whole securing the conference's automatic bid into the national tournament. They await the announcement of the NCAA Division III bracket, which will be released on Monday afternoon.