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D3hoops.comWomen's Final Four

Holland, Mich., 2008 and 2009

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HPU finishes perfect season

The Walnut and Bronze belongs to Stacey Blalock and Howard Payne.
Photo by Josh Bowerman, D3sports.com

Howard Payne became the first school since 2000 and the fifth ever to complete an undefeated season as the Yellow Jackets defeated Messiah in the national championship game, 68-54.

Photo gallery, final bracket and scores.

Kimberly Hoffman scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Stacey Blalock added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Hoffman finished the weekend with 35 points and 18 rebounds in two games. "She had a tendency in big games to get nervous and not play too well," said Howard Payne coach Chris Kielsmeier. "I talked to her this week and said, 'That's not the way you wanna go out.' She's got tremendous talent -- just go out and play. She did."

Meia Daniels continues to pile up the hardware, being named the tournamentís Most Outstanding Player, first-team All-American and 2008 D3hoops.com Player of the Year. Daniels and Hoffman were joined by Nikki Lobach of Messiah, Tiffany Morton of UW-Whitewater and Tina Grace of Oglethorpe on the All-Tournament team. Full All-American team.

Howard Payne joins Capital (1995), UW-Oshkosh (1996), Washington U. (1999 and 2000) as the only undefeated national champions. The title game victory gives Howard Payne 33 on the season, tying Capital and Hope (2006) for the record. It also gives the ASC its first NCAA championship in any team sport.

UW-Whitewater defeated Oglethorpe in the third-place game 80-67, hauling in 69 rebounds to tie a tournament record. Photo gallery.

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