Senior Mary Louise Dixon leads the Skyhawks into the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Fourth-seeded Skyhawks earn second-straight bid, face fifth-seeded UDC at Bentley Friday at 8:30 p.m.
EASTON, Mass. (March 13, 2014) – Fourth-seeded Stonehill College opens its 22nd appearance in the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Tournament when it faces fifth-seeded University of District of Columbia in opening round action of the East Regional, hosted by top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Bentley University, at the Dana Athletic Center on Friday at 8:30 p.m.
Admission for the regional will be $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students, children and senior citizens per session. Friday's schedule is broken up into an afternoon and evening session, with a separate ticket for each required. The remaining games on Saturday and Monday will require just one ticket per day. All games will be webcast free of charge via www.packnetwork.com, with Steve Zerdelian and Jacob VanRyn calling the action on Friday.
Stonehill (18-9, 14-7 NE-10) is making its 22nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history after receiving an at large bid on Sunday night. It marks the Skyhawks' ninth NCAA bid under head coach Trisha Brown, in her 13th season, and their second straight after reaching the regional semifinal before being topped by eventual national finalists Dowling College (57-45) in Waltham a year ago. Stonehill has reached the regional final seven times in program history, capturing two regional titles in back-to-back seasons in 1994 and '95. The 1995 team reached the national semifinal round. Stonehill's 22 NCAA Tournament appearances is tied for fourth in Division II history, with top-seeded and host Bentley leading the way with its 31st bid this weekend.
Stonehill enters the NCAA Tournament following a 93-77 setback to Adelphi University, seeded second this weekend, in the Northeast-10 Conference semifinals last Thursday. The Skyhawks have produced one of the top offenses in the NE-10 this winter, ranking third in scoring offense (77.0 ppg) as the top three-point shooting team in the league (.387), while also ranking second in free-throw percentage (.761), third in assists (18.0/gm) and fourth for field goal percentage (.450). Stonehill has also been whistled for the second-fewest fouls per game (17.0), committed second-lowest turnovers per game (13.7) in the NE-10 and lead the Conference in blocked shots per game (4.4). The Skyhawks rank fifth nationally for three-point percentage and three-point field goals per game (8.9), while also ranking eighth in assists per game and 17th in free-throw percentage.
Junior Tori Faieta provides the Skyhawks with a strong presence inside. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)
Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley), a three-time All-Northeast-10 selection who was named to the Daktronics All-East Region team for the second straight year today, leads the way for Stonehill. The only player in program history to total over 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists for her career, she leads the team with 17.4 points (4th NE-10), 5.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists (2nd) and 1.8 steals (4th ) per game in her final collegiate season. She is shooting 44.1-percent from the field, including 39.4% (54-137) from three-point range (6th), and converting 85.7% (126-147) of her free-throws (3rd). Dixon ranks fourth nationally in Division II for assists and she earned All-Tournament team honors at last year's East Regional after scoring an NCAA Tournament program record and career-high 32 points in the Skyhawks opening round win over Franklin Pierce University (78-66), draining a school-record 13-of-13 free-throw attempts in the process.
Junior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick), a third team All-Northeast-10 pick, adds 13.8 points per contest on 44.7% shooting, including a team-high 44.1% (83-188) from three-point range (3rd NE-10), converting 81.5% (22-27) of her free-throw tries. Her 83 three-pointers this season is a new single-season mark and she leads the NE-10 and ranks fourth nationally with 3.1 three's per game, while also ranking 12th in Division II for three-point percentage. She enters Friday night's game just one triple shy of becoming just the third player in program history with 200 for her career. Classmate Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's), a two-time All-Conference performer after earning first team honors this season, is averaging 13.3 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds (6th NE-10) with 1.7 assists and a Conference leading 2.2 blocks per game, shooting a team-best 51.3% from the field (7th).
Senior Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) contributes 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds, while sophomore Paige Marshall (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) is chipping in 8.3 points on 46.6% shooting, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per outing.
Junior Amy Pelletier enters Friday night's game a three-pointer shy of 200 for her career. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
District of Columbia (21-7, 15-5 ECC) is making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history after capturing the East Coast Conference tournament title with a 67-57 victory over LIU Post last weekend to earn the league's automatic bid. The Firebirds are back in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years with their second East Regional appearance after four appearances in the South Atlantic Regional in the 1980's and '90s. UDC ranks second in the ECC with 77.2 points per game and is the top shooting team in the league at 42.7-percent from the field, 35.9% from three-point range and 72% at the line. The Firebirds also rank second in the Conference with 10.5 steals, fourth in rebound margin (+2.0) and fifth for scoring defense (66.4 ppg).
Junior Telisha Turner (Wilmington, Del./Harcum College) is one of two UDC players averaging double-figures with 18.7 points per game (3rd ECC) on 44.4-percent shooting (10th), including an ECC-high 42.3% (71-168) from beyond the arc, and converting 78% (103-132) of her free-throws (8th). She also contributes 2.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 32.1 minutes per game.
Junior Denikka Brent (Chesapeake, Va./Booker T. Washington) adds 14.7 points (8th ECC) and a team-high 7.7 rebounds (9th) with 1.2 assists and 1.6 steals, shooting a Conference-high 50.3% from the field. Sophomore Tatyana Calhoun (Disputanta, Va./Sussex Central) is contributing 8.6 points and 6.6 rebounds, shooting 46.4% from the field (6th), while senior Teara Shaw (Bronx, N.Y./Indian River State) chips in 6.0 points, 2.6 boards and a team-high 3.5 assists (5th) and 1.9 steals (4th) per game.
Friday night will mark the first ever meeting between these two programs. Stonehill has had good success against East Coast Conference teams in its history, posting a 48-6 record all-time against the league. Dowling snapped a 22 game winning streak for the Skyhawks against ECC members with its regional semifinal win last season that dating back to 1997. District of Columbia is the first ECC team Stonehill will play this season, having a January date with Dowling canceled due to a snowstorm, while UDC dropped an 85-79 decision to NE-10 member American International College at home on January 4.
The winner of Friday's game will advance to the East Regional Semifinal where it will meet the winner of the evening session's opening game between top-seeded and host Bentley (29-0, 21-0 NE-10), the NE-10 regular season and tournament champions, and eighth-seeded Bloomfield University (20-9, 15-4 CACC), the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference tournament winners, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The regional championship is scheduled for Monday, March 17, at 7 p.m.
2014 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Tournament
hosted by Bentley University
Dana Athletic Center, Waltham, Mass.
Friday, March 14
#3 LIU Post (22-6, 18-2 ECC) vs. #6 Assumption (18-10, 13-8 NE-10), Noon
#2 Adelphi (22-7, 14-6 NE-10) vs. #7 New Haven (18-9, 13-7 NE-10), 2:30 p.m.
#1 Bentley (29-0, 21-0 NE-10) vs. #8 Bloomfield (20-9, 15-4 CACC), 6 p.m.
#4 Stonehill (18-9, 14-7 NE-10) vs. #5 District of Columbia (21-7, 15-5 ECC), 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 15
#2 Adelphi / #7 New Haven vs. #3 LIU Post / #6 Assumption, 5 p.m.
#1 Bentley / #8 Bloomfield vs. #4 Stonehill / #5 UDC, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, March 17
Regional semifinal winners, 7 p.m.