When it needed to be Ali it was Ali.
When it needed to be Ashley it was Ashley.
Give the St. Ambrose Queen Bees an A for effort.
Oh, and while you're at it, punch their ticket for the NAIA Division II Nationals next week in Sioux City, Iowa.
Star senior Ali Dolphin delivered 18 of her team-high 21 points in the second half while gritty guard Ashley Dexter dropped 14 of her career-high 19 after intermission too as the top-seeded Bees held off No. 4 William Penn 79-72. The victory gave the Bees the Midwest Collegiate Conference postseason title and that automatic ticket to the nationals.
"It's an amazing way to kind of end my senior year," Dolphin said after helping the Bees achieve a primary goal of going unbeaten in 17 starts at Lee Lohman Arena.
Other goals were to win the conference and book that trip to Sioux City.
"We brought all three of those goals home tonight," Dexter said after hitting 7-of-10 free throws inside the final 1 minute, 17 seconds to help the Queen Bees (28-4) maintain a cushion over the Lady Statesmen (23-10).
Dexter finished 9-for-12 from the stripe, not bad for a 65.2 percent free-throw shooter. And the 19 points? Just 13 more than the sophomore point guard's season average.
"I love Dexter; she's awesome," said junior forward Shelly Charvat, who scored 14 of her 17 points in the opening half to help the hosts build a 30-23 lead at intermission. "She works so hard. And she's hurt from taking charges. But she keeps taking charges."
Dexter did a little bit of everything, but perhaps nothing as important as the 3-pointer she drained midway through the second half. It came following her back-to-back turnovers helped the visitors close to within 49-43 after trailing by 11 two minutes before.
William Penn kept coming, though, twice narrowing the deficit to five. But every time Penn closed the gap, Dolphin or Dexter stepped up to make a play.
Dexter had four assists, four steals and five rebounds. Dolphin had seven rebounds to go along with her 21 points.
"She just played an amazing second half again," coach Krista Van Hauen said of her senior all-American candidate. "That's a great player. She did what she's done the whole season. She put the team on her back and said, ‘Let's go.'"
Now, the Queen Bees are off to the March 9-15 national tourney for the 16th time in school history. They will learn their seeding position and first-round opponent at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The team was bolstered by the Monday return of senior post player Mary Burmeister, whose father died last week. She dressed but did not play.