The NE-10 Tournament Champion Skyhawks are seeded second for the NCAA Division II East Regional in Worcester next weekend. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Skyhawks will face 7th-seeded District of Columbia when regional opens Saturday in Worcester, hosted by top-seeded Franklin Pierce
Stonehill will be making its 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history, marking the fourth-straight year and fifth trip overall under the direction of ninth-year head coach David McLaughlin, who became the winningest coach in program history following the Skyhawks NE-10 quarterfinal win and boasts a 174-83 (.677) career record. Stonehill (21-8, 15-7 NE-10) will open the NCAA Tournament against seventh-seeded University of District of Columbia (22-5, 13-3 ECC), who earned an at large bid out of the East Coast Conference, in a first round matchup on Saturday. Game times will be announced on Monday.
The winner of Saturday's quarterfinal will face the winner of an opening round matchup between third-seeded Adelphi University (20-8, 16-6 NE-10), an at-large bid from the NE-10 after sharing the regular season title with Franklin Pierce, and sixth-seeded LIU-C.W. Post (23-5, 15-1 ECC), regular season and tournament champions from the ECC, on Sunday. The regional championship will be played on Tuesday night.
The remaining first round matchups on Saturday include: top-seeded Franklin Pierce (21-7, 16-6 NE-10) against eighth-seeded Philadelphia University (19-9, 13-4 CACC), an at large bid from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, and fourth-seeded University of Massachusetts Lowell (19-10, 13-9 NE-10), an at large team from the Northeast-10, against the defending regional champions, Bloomfield College (24-7, 15-3 CACC), the CACC regular season and tournament champions.
Admission for the regional will be $10 for adults and $5 for children, seniors and college students presenting a valid University ID. All tickets can be purchased at Laska Gym on game days.
Stonehill earned the Northeast-10's automatic bid after topping UMass Lowell to claim the fourth NE-10 Tournament Championship in program history on Saturday afternoon. It marks the Skyhawks first tournament title since 1989, snapping a 23-year drought. Senior guard Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) earned Most Outstanding Player honors as he led Stonehill with a team-high 23 points (16 second half) on Saturday, shooting 7-of-14 from the field, including 4-fo-7 from three-point range, while converting 5-of-7 free-throws to go with five rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot. He averaged 23 points, 5.7 rebounds, three assists and three steals over the Skyhawks three NE-10 tournament wins as he shot 56.1-percent (23-41) from the field, including 10-19 (52.6%) from beyond the arc, and converted 13-of-15 (86.7%) free-throws for the week.
The winner of the men's East Region will advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, which will be held March 21-24 at the Bank of Kentucky Center in Highland Heights, Ky., and hosted by Northern Kentucky University
COMPETING TEAMS IN 2012 NCAA DIVISION II EAST REGIONAL
1-Seed ... Franklin Pierce University (21-7, 16-6 NE-10) ... NE-10 regular season co-champion (at-large bid)
2-Seed ... Stonehill College (21-8, 15-7 NE-10) ... NE-10 tournament champion (automatic bid)
3-Seed ... Adelphi University (20-8, 16-6 NE-10) ... NE-10 regular season co-champion (at-large bid)
4-Seed ... UMass Lowell (19-10, 13-9 NE-10) ... NE-10 (at-large bid)
5-Seed … Bloomfield College (24-7, 15-3 CACC) … CACC regular season & tournament champion (automatic bid)
6-Seed ... LIU-C.W. Post (23-5, 15-1 ECC) ... ECC regular season & tournament champion (automatic bid)
7-Seed ... University of District of Columbia (22-5, 13-3 ECC) ... ECC (at-large bid)
8-Seed ... Philadelphia University (19-9, 13-4 CACC) ... CACC (at-large bid)