NE10 Coach of the Year Trisha Brown has the Skyhawks in the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time over her 17 seasons. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Top-seeded Skyhawks set to host East Regional Friday through Monday
EASTON, Mass. (March 4, 2018) – Stonehill College has earned its 24th bid to the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championships and the top-seeded Skyhawks will host the NCAA East Regional at Merkert Gymnasium next weekend, March 9-12.
Stonehill (26-3, 20-1 NE10), which captured the Northeast-10 Conference regular season championship for the ninth time in program history this season, is making its 24th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, but first since 2015 when it reached the East Regional final. The Skyhawks have earned the East Region's top seed for just the second time in program history, the first time since it hosted its only previous NCAA Regional back in 1995. Stonehill also hosted NCAA Tournament games at Merkert Gym in 1987, 1985 and 1983 prior to the current regional format. Stonehill defeated Saint Anselm College 82-69 in the 1995 regional final at Merkert to advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the second-straight year on its way to the National Semifinals.
It marks the Skyhawks 11th NCAA bid under NE10 Coach of the Year Trisha Brown, in her 17th season. Stonehill's 24 NCAA Tournament bids is tied for fourth-highest in Division II history, behind only rival Bentley University (34), Delta State University (27) and Cal Poly Pomona (25). The Skyhawks, winners of 17-straight games prior to this afternoon's 73-72 overtime setback to Bentley in the NE10 Championship game, will open the regional against No. 8-seeded, and fellow NE10 member, Southern Connecticut State University (21-9, 14-6 NE10) in Friday's third game at Merkert Gym at 5 p.m.
The East Regional will open with quarterfinal round action on Friday, March 9, followed by regional semifinals on Saturday, March 10, and the regional championship on Monday, March 12, at 7 p.m. Friday's opening game will feature East Coast Conference regular season champions LIU Post (22-7, 17-2 ECC), the No. 6 seed, against Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference regular season and tournament champions University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (28-3, 17-2 CACC), the No. 3 seed, at noon. Game two will feature No. 2 seeded Bentley (27-3, 18-3 NE10), the NE10 Tournament Champions, against No. 7 Jefferson University (26-5, 16-3 CACC), the CACC South Division and Tournament runners up, at 2:30 p.m. Following the Stonehill/Southern Connecticut State game, No. 5 Caldwell University (24-6, 16-3 CACC), the CACC North Division Co-Champions, will battle No. 4 Saint Thomas Aquinas College (27-4, 16-2 ECC), the ECC Tournament Champions, in the final game of the day at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday's regional semifinals will be played at 5 and 7:30 p.m., with the regional championship scheduled for Monday, March 12, at 7 p.m. Bentley, USciences and St. Thomas Aquinas earned their Conference's automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament, while Stonehill, Caldwell, LIU Post, Jefferson and Southern Connecticut State were all at large selections to the overall field of 64.
The winner of the East Regional will advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, which will be held March 19-23 at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the national quarterfinals, semifinals and championship.
COMPETING TEAMS IN 2018 NCAA DIVISION II EAST REGIONAL
No. 1 seed – Stonehill College (26-3, 20-1 NE10)… Northeast-10 Regular Season Champions (at large bid)
No. 2 seed – Bentley University (27-3, 18-3 NE10)… NE10 Tournament Champions (automatic bid)
No. 3 seed – University of the Sciences in Philadephia (28-3, 17-2 CACC)… Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Champions (automatic bid)
No. 4 seed – Saint Thomas Aquinas College (27-4, 16-2 ECC)… East Coast Conference Tournament Champions (automatic bid)
No. 5 seed – Caldwell University (24-6, 16-3 CACC)… CACC Division Co-Champions (at large bid)
No. 6 seed – LIU Post (22-7, 17-2 ECC)… ECC Regular Season Champions (at large bid)
No. 7 seed – Jefferson University (26-5, 16-3 CACC)… CACC South Division & Tournament Runners-Up (at large bid)
No. 8 seed – Southern Connecticut State University (21-9, 14-6 NE10)… NE10 Southwest Division Champions (at large bid)
NCAA DIVISION II EAST REGIONAL SCHEDULE
QUARTERFINALS – FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2018
#6 LIU Post (22-7, 17-2 ECC) vs. #3 USciences (28-3, 17-2 CACC), Noon
#7 Jefferson (26-5, 16-3 CACC) vs. #2 Bentley (27-3, 18-3 NE10), 2:30 p.m.
#8 Southern Connecticut State (21-9, 14-6 NE10) at #1 Stonehill (26-3, 20-1 NE10), 5 p.m.
#5 Caldwell (24-6, 16-3 CACC) vs. #4 St. Thomas Aquinas (27-4, 16-2 ECC), 7:30 p.m.
SEMIFINALS – SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2018
#3-#6 winner vs. #2-#7 winner 5:00 pm
#1-#8 winner vs. #4-#5 winner, 7:30 pm
CHAMPIONSHIP – MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2014, 7 p.m.
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