CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice is calling on all West Virginians to join him in cheering on the Glenville State University Lady Pioneers basketball team in their first ever National Championship appearance tonight.
After soundly defeating Grand Valley State on Wednesday, 77-53, the Glenville State women’s basketball team earned a spot in the NCAA Division II championship game in Birmingham, AL. They tip off against Western Washington at 8 p.m. TONIGHT (3-25) on CBS Sports Network.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment by the Lady Pioneers. I am so proud of their hard work this season and, judging by the scores of the previous games in this tournament, I have no doubt they will bring their A-game tonight,” Gov. Justice said.
“This team has got to be one of the most dominant college sports teams in state history, but they’ve got to finish the job with a win tonight,” Gov. Justice continued. “It’s another opportunity for West Virginia to shine on the national stage, and I hope everyone will join me in cheering the Lady Pioneers on to a big win.”
The Lady Pioneers’ dominant season has included a list of firsts for the program; from their first number one national ranking, to the best record in school history at 34-1, and now their first trip to the National Championship.
The Lady Pioneers are averaging an astonishing 96 points per game this season.
In the NCAA Division II national championship tournament, they have demolished their opponents by an average of over 28 points per game. For comparison, their championship game opponent, Western Washington, has an average margin of victory of 8 points per game. The Lady Pioneers’ run to the championship game has been dominant throughout. They won their closest game of the tournament by 12 points. They scored 103 points in the Elite Eight.
“All of this incredible success starts with Glenville State’s outstanding head coach, Kim Stephens,” Gov. Justice said. “Coach Stephens is a graduate of Parkersburg South and a Glenville State alum herself. While their success story this season has been unbelievable, it’s even sweeter to know that we have a West Virginia native molding this West Virginia team into one of the very best juggernauts in the entire country.”
Coach Stephens was named D-II Women’s Basketball National Coach of Year earlier this week. She’s been the head coach at GSU for six seasons.
Glenville State University’s recent successes are not limited to the basketball court.
In February, Gov. Justice signed House Bill 4264, officially changing the designation of Glenville State College to Glenville State University.
“They’ve got so much goodness happening right now in their 150th anniversary year,” Gov. Justice said. “I can’t wait to see them on the court tonight and I’ll be celebrating when they bring home that championship trophy!”