February 23, 2013

Women: Emory, Hope, Florham seal bids

More news about: Emory | FDU-Florham | Regis (Mass.)
Emory has only lost once since Jan. 11.
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The UAA doesn't have a conference tournament, but for the second straight year a regular season finale determined the automatic bid winner.

No. 16 Emory held off visiting Rochester 65-57 for the bid and the conference title. The Yellowjackets, despite the loss, are in good position to get an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

FDU-Florham defeated King's 76-64 to secure the program's first trip to the NCAA Tournament. Kyra Dayon had a monster game with 28 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes.

New Paltz State is also headed to the big dance for the first time ever after beating Geneseo State 64-53. The Hawks forced 27 turnovers and put four players in double-figures, led by Alex McCollough's 14 points. New Paltz led wire-to-wire.

St. Thomas put its midseason swoon behind itself and defeated Concordia-Moorhead 58-50 in the MIAC tournament final. Kellie Ring had 16 points for the Tommies.

West: Whitworth pulls off upset

No. 8 Lewis and Clark surprisingly fell in the Northwest Conference championship, as Whitworth won the conference's automatic bid with a 76-61 win. Lewis and Clark will get an at-large bid, meaning someone out there will stay home. Cal Lutheran got 18 from Jazmyne Porter and made nine of its 10 free throws down the stretch to beat Chapman and win the SCIAC.

Northeast: Plenty of Pride in Mass

Regis (Mass.) captured its first NECC championship by stifling Elms 59-33. The Pride held the Blazers to 22 percent shooting (11-for-51). Regis (Mass.) went 20-0 against conference opponents this season.

Similarly the University of New England completed an unbeaten sweep through its conference. The Nor'easters defeated Salve Regina 69-63 for the CCC title. Southern Maine rolled over Mass-Dartmouth 90-66 to win the Little East and improve to 27-1. Jordan Grant scored a game-high 23.

Colby-Sawyer upended Castleton State 65-59 in the NAC championship. Taylor DeSanty posted 27 points and seven rebounds for the Chargers. The Sparans, who were slotted eighth in the most recent NCAA regional rankings, will be on the bubble for an at-large bid with a 26-2 record.

Emmanuel wrapped up the automatic bid from the GNAC with a 68-45 win over Suffolk. Fiona Dwyer had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Saints, who will make their sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Bridgewater State took care of Westfield State 85-72 to secure the MASCAC title. Jenna Williamson scored 34 points for the Bears who shot 42 percent from the field (25-for-49). The Owls shot 58 percent (29-for-50) but committed 33 turnovers.

East: Saints hold on

William Smith led the Liberty League title game 32-31 with 12:36 left in the game. The Herons never led again, but made St. Lawrence sweat, as the Saints never led by more than three the rest of the way in winning 51-48. Kelly Legg shot just 8-for-21 but led St. Lawrence with 18 points as the Saints overcame 26 from William Smith's Sydni Salvatore.

Ithaca locked down Hartwick in the Empire 8 final, as the Bombers (25-2) held the Hawks to 25 percent shooting from the floor and held the Hartwick bench scoreless in a 47-29 win.

Atlantic: The rolls continue

No. 5 Montclair State won't be able to play a home game because of NCAA sanctions against the entire state of New Jersey, but it will run into the NCAA Tournament undefeated after a 75-54 win against William Paterson. Taylor Jeffers scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Red Hawks.

Tenth-ranked Catholic improved to 26-1 as the Cardinals rallied with a huge second half to defeat Scranton 72-52 for the Landmark Conference automatic bid. Catholic pulled away with a 30-6 run, sparked by eight points from Kelli Josephsen. Emily Grabiak scored a game-high 22 points and had seven assists. Scranton has hopes of receiving an at-large bid to the dance on Monday afternoon.

Francess Henry scored a game-high 27 points on 10-for-16 shooting as Baruch returned to the NCAA Tournament with a 73-62 win against Brooklyn. Farmingdale State became the lowest seed to win a conference tournament on the women's side so far. The fourth-seeded Rams edged SUNY-Purchase 40-39 for the Skyline championship.

The CAC has produced lots of low scoring games this season so it was fitting that the title game had fewer than 100 total points. Maryymount won the defensive struggle against Mary Washington 53-42. The Saints have won 13 of 14 games, including three over the Eagles, and will make their 17th trip to the NCAA tournament.

Central: Cornell likes the new digs

Cornell shot just 6-for-21 from beyond the arc but it was more than enough as the Rams finished the run, winning the Midwest Conference automatic bid in its first season since returning to the league. Rikki Mulloy scored a team-high 17 in the win. Cornell was just 10-15, 7-9 last year in its final year in the IIAC, but goes to the tournament 24-1, 17-1 from the MWC.

Great Lakes: Hope wins rubber match

After being denied a trip to the NCAA Tournament last season, Hope didn't leave its fate in the hands of the committee this year, defeating Calvin 62-59 on Calvin's home floor to win the MIAA automatic bid. Courtney Kust poured in a game-high 29 points, 18 of them in the second half.  Calvin had a chance to tie the game with 2.2 seconds left, but a 3-point attempt missed and went out of bounds. Hope's Liz Ellis missed a pair of free throws, but Calvin could not do anything in the final second. The Knights are still in fine shape for an at-large bid.

Thomas More beat Washington and Jefferson 72-59 for its seventh consecutive PAC title. The Saints are in good position to host NCAA tournament games with a 27-1 record, that lone loss coming to No. 3 Calvin in overtime.

Ohio Northern finished its run through the OAC, defeating Otterbein in the title game 73-46. The Polar Bears wrested the top spot in the regional rankings away from DePauw this past week and are in position to host all the way to Holland, if they can stay in the NCAA Tournament that long.

Mid-Atlantic: Offense at a premium

No. 19 Lebanon Valley might have been on the bubble for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament at the beginning of the week, but it doesn't matter after Saturday's 46-43 win over No. 13 Messiah. The Flying Dutchmen, who lost the two regular season matchups with the Falcons, outscored Messiah 26-12 in the paint.

In another low scoring title game, Cabrini shut down Gwynedd-Mercy 49-38 for the CSAC title. The Cavaliers held the Griffins to three assists versus 24 turnovers. Cabrini coach Kate (Pierangeli) Pearson will make her first trip to the tournament as a head coach after making several as a player at Scranton and assistant with the Cavaliers.

La Roche defeated Penn State-Behrend 63-58 for the AMCC title in a game where the starters scored all the points. Jessica Pitts had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Redhawks, who are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year.

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