No. 6-seeded Skyhawks to battle third-seeded & No. 10/19-ranked Jefferson in NCAA Tournament First Round Friday in Philadelphia at noon
Raymond, the NE10 Rookie of the Year and an All-NE10 second team pick, leads the Skyhawks back into the NCAA Tournament (PHOTO BY Wilmington Athletic Communications)
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (March 14, 2019) – Sixth-seeded Stonehill College, the reigning NCAA II East Region Champions, will open its title defense against third-seeded Jefferson University, ranked No. 10 in this week's Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll and 19th in the D2SIDA Top 25 media poll, when the 2019 NCAA Division II Tournament's East Regional, hosted by top-seeded and No. 6/6 University of the Sciences, commences at Bobby Morgan Arena on Friday at noon.
Admission is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students, children and senior citizens. All-session passes are also available for $25 for adults and $13 for students, children and senior citizens. The game will be broadcast by the CACC Network at caccnetwork.com and available on digital television via Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. The CACC Network app is available to download through iTunes and Google Play stores as well. Tim McCaffery, Tim Jimenez, Jerry Milani and Ben Dinallo, Jr. will be combining to call the action for all the East Regional games this weekend. Links to the webcast and live stats are available at stonehillskyhawks.com.
Stonehill and Jefferson will open the regional with their Friday noon matchup, before No. 7-seed Saint Anselm College (19-9, 13-8 NE10) squares off against second-seeded and No. 12/13 Bentley University (28-3, 20-1 NE10) at 2:30 p.m. Top-seeded and host USciences (29-2, 18-1 CACC), ranked No. 6 in both national polls, will play eighth-seeded NYIT (23-8, 12-6 ECC) at 5 p.m., before fifth-seeded Saint Thomas Aquinas College (26-4, 17-1 ECC) and fourth-seeded Le Moyne College (24-5, 15-5 NE10), receiving votes nationally, cap the opening day at 7:30 p.m.
The East Regional continues with regional semifinals on Saturday at 5 and 7:30 p.m., with the Regional Championship slated for Monday at 7 p.m. The winner of Friday's Stonehill/Jefferson matchup will face the winner of the St. Anselm/Bentley game on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Stonehill (19-9, 14-7 NE10) is back in the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year after winning the third regional championship in program history last March with a 71-61 triumph over USciences at Merkert Gym in Easton. It marks the 25th NCAA Tournament bid in program history, a total that ranks fourth in Division II history behind only Cal Poly Pomona (26), Delta State University (27) and East Region rival Bentley (35). The Skyhawks have reached the regional final in each of their last two NCAA appearances, adding a trip to the finals in 2015 to last year's Elite Eight run. It marks the 12th NCAA bid for Stonehill in head coach Trisha Brown's 18 seasons at the helm.
Carter is the lone returning starter from last year's regional title run (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Stonehill returns to the hardwood for the first time in 12 days after a tough 58-52 overtime setback to the University of New Haven in the quarterfinal round of the NE10 Tournament after finishing second to Bentley in the Conference's Northeast Division standings. The Skyhawks are winners of four of their last six, despite the quarterfinal loss, and look to reach the 20-win mark for the 26th time in program history with a victory on Friday. Stonehill is 10-4 away from home this season, winning its only neutral site game with a 63-44 triumph over another Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) member, Holy Family University, back on November 10. The Skyhawks are 3-1 overall against CACC members this season, with its lone loss an 80-75 setback to USciences at Merkert Gym on December 30.
Stonehill enters the postseason ranked fourth in the NE10 for scoring defense (59.4 ppg) and sixth for scoring offense (67.1 ppg), leading the NE10 and ranking fourth nationally in Division II with 18.6 assists per game. The Skyhawks rank sixth in the Conference for field goal percentage (.412) and seventh in three-point field goal percentage (32.5%), connecting on 7.1 three-point field goals per game (4th). Stonehill leads the NE10 with 5.2 blocked shots per game, ranking 14th nationally, and assist/turnover ratio (18th nationally).
Stonehill is led by freshman Kayla Raymond, the eighth NE10 Rookie of the Year in program history, who is the first freshman in program history to earn All-NE10 honors with her second team selection this season. The program-record nine-time NE10 Rookie of the Week is averaging a team-high 15.9 points per game (8th NE10), shooting 48.8-percent from the field (9th), including 38.3% (36-for-94) from three-point distance (8th), and converting 81.1% (30-37) of her free-throws. She is also contributing a team-best 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.8 blocked shots (6th) and a steal in 23.6 minutes per game. Raymond's 382 points this season ranks fourth among Stonehill freshmen in program history, 68-points shy of Stonehill and NE10 Hall of Famer Sue Patchett, '97 who netted a program-record 450 points in her first collegiate season in 1993-94.
Reuter enters the NCAA Tournament a blocked shot shy of 100 for her career (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Junior Grace Carter is the only other Stonehill player scoring in double figures with 10.3 points per game, connecting at 34.2% (68-197) from three-point distance (7th NE10), with 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and a steal per game. Classmate Gabrielle Reuter adds 9.2 points on 52.7% shooting, with 5.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 blocked shots (5th) per game, while sophomore Jennifer Worden contributes 8.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists (6th) and 1.3 steals per contest.
Jefferson (29-2, 17-2 CACC) enters its 11th NCAA Tournament winners of six-straight and nine of ten after earning the CACC's automatic bid with a 74-73 overtime victory over No. 4/4 USciences in the CACC Championship on Sunday. The Rams lead the CACC in scoring offense (75.8 ppg) and are second in scoring defense (58.2 ppg), while leading the Conference in field goal percentage (44.6%), field goal percentage defense (36.2%) and turnover margin (+4.9), while ranking second in free-throw percentage (72.7%) and third for three-point percentage (35.4%). Jefferson is also committing just 10.5 personal fouls per game – lowest in the country.
Senior Jessica Kaminski, the CACC Player and Defensive Player of the Year, headlines four All-CACC selections for Jefferson. The first team All-CACC performer leads the Rams with 16.8 points (2nd CACC) and 8.2 rebounds (2nd), while adding 3.9 assists (5th) and 1.5 steals per game, shooting 54.1-percent from the field (2nd) and 72.1% of her free-throws.
Sophomore Caitlyn Cunningham also earned first team All-CACC honors this season, adding 16.6 points (4th CACC) on 47.2% shooting (6th), including 39.6% from three-point distance, and converting 75.3% of her free-throws, with 4.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists (3rd) and 2.3 steals per game (5th). Junior Alynna Williams earned second team All-CACC honors, contributing 14.3 points (9th), connecting on 40.1% of her three-pointers and converting 85.1% of her free-throws, with 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game, while senior Beverly Kum is a third team All-CACC selection, chipping in 13.5 points on 47.7% shooting (5th), with 7.8 rebounds (5th) and 1.2 steals per game.
Friday will mark just the seventh meeting all-time between these two programs, the third in the NCAA Tournament. Stonehill holds a 4-2 edge in the all-time series that dates back to 1988, with the two teams having split the two prior NCAA Tournament encounters. The Skyhawks posted an 88-78 victory over then Philadelphia University the last time the two teams met back on November 17, 2001 at Assumption College's Tip-Off Tournament in Worcester, Massachusetts, which marked Trisha Brown's second game in charge at Stonehill after becoming the program's third head coach in program history during the offseason. Stonehill won the first NCAA Tournament matchup between the two with a 65-50 win in 1997, before the Rams gained revenge with a 63-59 victory at the 1998 regional in Albany, New York.
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2019 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Tournament
hosted by University of the Sciences
Bobby Morgan Arena; Philadelphia, Pa.
Friday, March 15
#6 Stonehill (19-9, 14-7 NE10) vs. #3 Jefferson (29-2, 17-2 NE10), Noon
#7 Saint Anselm (19-9, 13-8 NE10) vs. #2 Bentley (28-3, 20-1 NE10), 2:30 p.m.
#8 NYIT (23-8, 12-6 ECC) at #1 USciences (29-2, 18-1 CACC), 5 p.m.
#5 St. Thomas Aquinas (26-4, 17-1 ECC) vs. #4 Le Moyne (24-5, 15-5 NE10), 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 16
STO/JEF winner vs. STA/BEN winner, 5 p.m.
NYT/USC winner vs. STAC/LEM winner, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, March 18
Semifinal Winners, 7 p.m.