Webb helps lead California Baptist women to WAC title, first NCAA Tournament appearance

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Chloe Webb scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead California Baptist to a 75-74 win on Saturday in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship game with the Lancers advancing to their first NCAA Tournament.

The Lancers won the conference tournament in 2021 but were ineligible for the NCAAs because they were in a transition period to Division I.

CBU trailed by seven with just under five minutes to go then scored the next 12 points with Nae Nae Calhoun tying it with a 3-pointer and Nhug Bosch Duran hitting a baseline 3 out of transition for the Lancers’ first lead. Anaiyah Tu’ua found Kinsley Barrington underneath to complete the run.

The Ladyjacks cut the lead to two in the final 30 seconds but a pair of free throws by Webb with 6.2 seconds left made it a four-point margin. Avery VanSickle hit a deep 3 with 2.5 seconds remaining but CBU was able to inbound the ball and run out the clock.

Webb, the WAC's player of the year, was just 6-of-20 shooting but 12 of 14 from the line for the top-seeded Lancers (28-3), who won their ninth straight game. Tu’ua added 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting and made 8 of 11 free throws. Barrington added 10 points. The Lancers missed their first 12 3-point attempts but made 5 of 12 from that point and were 20 of 25 from the free-throw line.

Kurstyn Harden scored 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting and had 12 rebounds to lead the third-seeded Ladyjacks. (22-12) VanSickle had four 3-pointers and added 16 points and Kyla Deck scored 10 points. The Ladyjacks shot a little better than CBU from the floor and made 10 3s but had 10 fewer points at the line (10 of 16).

SFA led by as many as 11 in the second quarter and scored the last seven points of the third to take a five-point lead into the final period.

__ Get alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here ___ AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball