Skylights Prepare for NAIA Tournament Opener - News, Sports and Weather

Skylights Prepare for NAIA Tournament Opener

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The MSU-Northern Skylights will return to the NAIA national tournament for the first time since 2006.

Awaiting them in the first round will be Missouri-based Columbia College, who boasts one of the top offenses in the nation. Northern's number-1 ranked defense will be tested right away.

"Right out of the gates we're playing a team that scores a lot of points," says Senior Guard and Fairfield native Kassie Barta. "That's going to be our huge challenge. To show why we do belong there. We belong there because we're the best defensive team."

Northern is excited to be competing in the tournament but they've made it clear that they are showing up to win

"Every single ranking that's come out we've been in the polls," says Barta. "So we're not going there just for a trip. We're there because we belong in that group of teams and we want to win."

For Northern to get far they will have to rely on their defense that allowed just under 53-points a game.

"We work really hard on both ends of the court. Defensively especially," says Skylights Junior and Belt native Taylor Cummings. "Everyone on the team works hard on the defensive end. And that's how we win games."

Another obstacle you would think the Skylights would have to overcome is the travel. This will be their first trip to the Eastern time zone this season, but it's something MSU-N Head Coach Chris Mouat isn't concerned about.

"All of our road trips are long. So our kids are used to it," said Mouat. "So there's not really a lot of time to get settled in. But we're going to do the best that we can with the time that we have."

The Skylights hope to spend as much time as possible in Frankfort, Kentucky. It all starts with winning their first game.

Game time is Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. Eastern Time.

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