MOORHEAD, Minn. (MSUM Athletics) -- The Minnesota State University Moorhead women's basketball team is headed back to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year. The Dragons earned the No. 7 seed in the Central Region and will face No. 2 seed Central Missouri on Friday in the opening round of the tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Top seed Augustana (27-3) will serve as the host of the Central Region tournament. Game times were not available as of this writing on Sunday night and will be updated on msumdragons.com.
It is the second straight year MSUM wiil face Central Missouri in the first round of the tournament. The Jennies topped the Dragons 54-45 in the first round a year ago.
"I'm thankful to be back again and I'm happy for our team because we did have a great year," MSUM senior guard Cassidy Thorson said. "Being at the NCAA tournament last year, I'm hoping we can learn from it and have a better outcome this year."
It is the fifth NCAA tournament appearance for the Dragon women, all coming under Head Coach Karla Nelson. MSUM qualified for the tournament in 2004-05, 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2016-17.
"Since we made it to the tournament last year and lost out right away, it's been our goal to get back there and get another chance," MSUM senior forward Drew Sannes said. "Now that we have that chance we're more motivated than ever to go to Sioux Falls and represent our program and conference."
The 2016-17 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular-season champions along with Augustana and Northern State, MSUM enters the tournament at 23-5, just one win away from tying the most single-season wins in school history. Three NSIC teams are in the field: Augustana, Northern and MSUM.
Senior forward Drew Sannes and junior guard Jacky Volkert were named to the All-NSIC First Team while senior guard Cassidy Thorson was named to the All-NSIC Second Team. Sannes (13.8), Volkert (13.7), sophomore forward Megan Hintz (11.7) and Thorson (10.4) all average in double figures as part of a balanced Dragon attack.
Augustana is the top seed, followed by Central Missouri (24-3), Southwestern Oklahoma State (26-4), Arkansas Tech (26-3), Northern State (25-5), Fort Hays State (25-6), MSUM (24-5) and Lindenwood (20-12), which received the automatic berth in the NCAA tournament by winning the MIAA tournament.