Martin leads the Skyhawks back into the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995 after earning Most Outstanding Player honors at the East Regional. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)
Fourth-seeded Skyhawks and fifth-seeded Crimson Hawks cap opening day in Sioux Falls with national quarterfinal matchup Monday at 9:30 p.m. (EDT)
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (March 18, 2018) – Fourth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked No. 11 in both the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll and D2SIDA Top 25 media poll, will close out the opening day of the 2018 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Elite Eight when it squares off against fifth-seeded Indiana University of Pennsylvania, ranked No. 12 in the WBCA poll and No. 23 in the D2SIDA Top 25 poll, for a national quarterfinal matchup at the Sanford Pentagon tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. (EDT).
Admission is $15.00 for adults and $8.00 for students, children and senior citizens, with children aged 6 and under admitted free of charge. All-session passes are available for $45 for adults and $25 for children and senior citizens. The national quarterfinal round games will be broadcast live via ncaa.com, with the national semifinal and championship contests broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. Stonehill will host a viewing party for all games at The Hill in Roche Dining Commons.
Stonehill (29-3, 20-1 NE-10) is making its third appearance at the Elite Eight, but its first since 1995 when it made its second of back-to-back trips. The Skyhawks, who captured the East Regional Championship at Merkert Gym on March 12, is making its 24th NCAA Tournament appearance overall, and the 11th for head coach Trisha Brown over her 17 seasons. Stonehill's 24 NCAA Tournament appearances rank fourth all-time in NCAA Division II history, having reached the national semifinals in 1995. The Skyhawks are also one win shy of matching the program record for wins in a season set in 1995 (30-3).
Grip has earned All-Tournament Team honors at the NE10 Tournament and East Region Championship. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)
Stonehill has advanced to the Elite Eight after cruising to a 70-45 victory over eighth-seeded Southern Connecticut State University in the opening round of the NCAA East Regional on March 9, then battling past fourth-seeded Saint Thomas Aquinas College, 63-52 the following night. Stonehill captured its third regional title in program history with its 71-61 triumph over third-seeded and No. 16/20-ranked University of the Sciences in Philadelphia on Monday. Senior Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) earned the regional's Most Outstanding Player honors, finishing with a team-high 18 points, converting all eight of her free-throws, to go with eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals in the regional final.
Indiana (Pa.) (29-3, 20-2 PSAC) returns to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1999 after winning the West Division in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) this winter. The Crimson Hawks won the Atlantic Regional as the No. 3-seed, defeating eighth-seeded Bowie State University 75-60 for its second regional title in program history last week. Junior Carolyn Appleby (Greensburg, Pennsylvania/Greensburg) capped Most Outstanding Player honors for the Atlantic Regional with 16 points and six , going 4-of-10 from 3-point range, in the regional final win. IUP is in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-straight year and 12th time in program history overall.
Tomorrow night will mark just the second meeting all-time between these two programs – the first since 1991. Stonehill posted an 87-74 victory over Indiana (Pa.) at the New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University) Holiday Tournament in Manchester, New Hampshire, on December 28, 1991. Stonehill never trailed and was led by 29 points from Paula Kohs, '92 on 11-for-19 shooting, including 6-for-11 from three-point distance. Cathy Torchia led IUP with 25 points. The Skyhawks are 10-1 all-time against PSAC member schools, last meeting a PSAC team at the 2009 Disney Division II East Coast Tip-Off Classic in Florida, where it suffered its lone defeat to Gannon University (87-70) one day after defeating Shippensburg University (71-44).
Walsh enters tomorrow night's game two points shy of 1,000 for her career. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)
Stonehill, which won its ninth Northeast-10 Conference regular season championship with a program record for NE10 wins, has won 19 of their last 20 since the calendar turned to 2018. The Skyhawks 29 wins are one shy of the program's single-season record set during the national semifinal run of 1995. It marks the 25th time in program history Stonehill has reached or surpassed 20 wins in a season. The Skyhawks, who posted a perfect 18-0 record at home this season, rank second in the NE10 for scoring offense (70.3 ppg) and third in scoring defense (57.4 ppg), leading the Conference in field goal percentage defense (.339), three-point field goal percentage defense (.254) and blocked shots per game (6.8). The Skyhawks also lead the NE10 in free-throw percentage (.766) and assists per game (18.6), ranking second in rebound margin (+7.1) and third in field goal percentage (.422). Stonehill leads Division II in blocked shots per game, ranking second in three-point percentage defense and third in field goal percentage defense, sixth in assists per game and 17th in scoring defense.
Martin, the D2CCA East Region and NE10 Player of the Year, headlines a trio of All-NE10 seniors, which includes classmates Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford) and Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic). Martin is the only player in the NE10 to rank among the top 12 in scoring, rebounding and assists, filling the stat sheet with 16.3 points (5th NE10), 7.0 rebounds (12th), 5.1 assists (2nd) and 1.2 steals in 34.1 minutes per game, shooting 84.9-percent (118-for-139) from the free-throw line (3rd). Hyslip leads inside with 12.9 points (13th), 8.3 rebounds (8th) and 1.9 assists per game, shooting 48.1% from the floor (6th) and 80% (100-125) from the free-throw line (12th). Walsh, who enters Monday night two points shy of joining her two classmates and becoming the program's 32nd 1,000-point scorer, contributes on the perimeter with 11.6 points on 39.9% shooting, including 36.4% (78-214) from three-point range (8th), with 2.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
Senior Elizabeth Grip (Shrewsbury, Massachusetts/Shrewsbury), the NE10 Defensive Player of the Year who earned All-Tournament team honors at both the NCAA East Regional and NE10 Tournament, spearheads the Skyhawks defense inside with an NE10-high 3.6 blocked shots per game, ranking sixth nationally in Division II, while chipping in with 6.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per outing. She has blocked five or more shots 11 times this season, giving her a school-record 116 blocks for the year, now good for eighth on the NE10's single-season list. Grip is averaging 9.7 points, four rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game so far in the NCAA Tournament, shooting 65% (13-for-20) from the field.
Indiana (Pa.) will mark Stonehill's third-straight opponent to rank in the top five nationally in Division II for scoring defense, having limited its opponents to 55.0 points per game (5th). The Crimson Hawks hold opponents to 34.4-percent shooting, including 27% from three-point range, forcing 18.8 turnovers per game. IUP scores 76.1 points per game on 46.8% shooting, including 36.8% from long range.
Senior Megan Smith (Blain, Pennsylvania/West Perry) is averaging a team-high 18.2 points per game on 45.6-percent shooting from the floor, including 40.2% (80-for-199) from three-point range, while converting 85.7% (72-84) of her free-throws, adding 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 blocked shots and 1.6 steals in 31.6 minutes per game. Appleby adds 15.1 points on 45% shooting from the floor, 75.7% from the free-throw line (78-103), with 3.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Junior Lauren Wolosik (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/North Catholic) contributes 9.7 points, 3.2 boards, 5.2 assists and 2.5 steals, while classmate Brittany Robinson (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania/Central Dauphin East) chips in 9.0 points, a team-high 7.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.5 steals per contest.
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2018 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Elite Eight
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
All Times Eastern
Monday, March 19
#6 Central Missouri (27-3) vs. #3 Lubbock Christian (32-2), 1 p.m.
#7 Union (29-3) vs. #2 Carson-Newman (32-2), 3:30 p.m.
#8 Montana State-Billings (25-11) vs. #1 Ashland (34-0), 7 p.m.
#5 Indiana (Pa.) (29-3) vs. #4 Stonehill (29-3), 9:30 p.m.
SEMIFINALS – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2018 (CBS Sports Network)
#3-#6 winner vs. #2-#7 winner, 7 p.m.
#1-#8 winner vs. #4-#5 winner, 9:30 p.m.
CHAMPIONSHIP – FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2014, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)