Women's wrap: Perfect times three
Sam Partonen and the Eagles will fly into the NCAA tournament undefeated.
Mary Washington file photo
Chicago, George Fox and Mary Washington will enter the 2012 NCAA Tournament with perfect records, thanks to victories on Championship Saturday.
- Women's scoreboard
- Who's in the tournament?
- More women's headlines
- NCAA regional rankings
- Saturday's men's wrap
No. 8 Mary Washington held off York (Pa.) 50-46 in a back-and-forth battle for the CAC title. The Eagles led for most of the second half, but never by more than five. After Aja Wallpher hit a jumper to pull the Spartans within one with 26 seconds left, Mary Washington's Jenna McRae was fouled. She made the first free throw and missed the second, but teammate Katie Wimmer grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Her two freethrows iced the game.
No. 2 Chicago already secured the UAA title and automatic bid last weekend. On Saturday the Maroons picked up another accolade -- an undefeated regular season. Chicago topped No. 9 Washington U. 76-67 to achieve that feat for the first time in the program's 41-year history. Pat Coleman interviewed Chicago's Meghan and Morgan Herrick, which you can find at the bottom of this page, or included with the game story.
No. 3 George Fox is the third team to enter the NCAA tournament without a blemish on its record. The Bruins won the NWC conference by beating Lewis and Clark 85-69 for the third time this season. George Fox scored the game's first nine points and led by 21 at the break. Keisha Gordon, the NWC Player of the Year, scored 21 points with nine rebounds, six assists and four steals in front of a crowd of more than 1,600.
Amherst will have a chance to achieve the same feat Sunday. The Lord Jeffs defeated Colby 66-52 in Saturday's NESCAC semifinal. Freshman Megan Robertson had 11 points and nine rebounds for Amherst which will play Tufts for the conference title tomorrow.
St. Thomas, Mount Union and DePauw aren't undefeated, but they do enter the tournament red hot. The Tommies defeated Gustavus Adolphus 66-54 to win the MIAC title. After losing its season opener to WIAC champion UW-Stevens Point, St. Thomas has won 26 straight.
No. 6 Mount Union ran its winning streak to 21 with a 77-60 over Ohio Northern in the OAC tournament final. The Purple Raiders' only loss came at Otterbein on Dec. 3.
No. 4 DePauw finished running the table in its new conference as the Tigers beat Denison 61-41 to win the NCAC title. DePauw has won 25 in a row since losing the second game of the season to Franklin and only one NCAC team all season lost to DePauw by fewer than 10 points.
|The scoreboard says it all: Pointers win the WIAC title over UW-Whitewater 80-61.|
Surviving the battle
The bruising battle for the WIAC's automatic bid came to a close when No. 12 UW-Stevens Point defeated No. 23 UW-Whitewater 80-61. Sam Barber scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the host Pointers who enter the NCAA Tournament with a 23-4 record. The Warhawks will join No. 16 UW-Eau Claire and No. 21 UW-River Falls in waiting for an at-large bid.
Coe started the season 0-2 and got rocked by Simpson in Indianola earlier this season, but none of that mattered on Saturday. The Kohawks beat the Storm 79-59 to win the rubber match between the teams and the IIAC automatic bid. Kayla Waskow (16 points, 13 rebounds) and Megan Hayes (21 points, 10 rebounds) finished with double-doubles for Coe and Mary Halvorson (eight points, 12 rebounds) just missed one.
Muhlenberg has had an up-and-down season, but the Mules finished this portion of the season on top of the Centennial Conference. Alexandra Chili scored 28 points and grabbed 10 boards as Muhlenberg defeated top-seeded Johns Hopkins 74-53. Chili also became the conference's all-time leading scorer and is within sight of the 2,000-point milestone.
Illinois Wesleyan took its lumps during a brutal non-conference schedule, but perhaps it toughened up the Titans for the stretch run. Illinois Wesleyan nipped Carthage 68-67 to win the CCIW title. Olivia Lett scored 23 points for the Titans and found Karen Solari for the title-winning basket with 17 seconds left.
The season-long struggle between Ithaca and Stevens ended with the Bombers winning a defensive struggle 43-38. Ithaca split the regular season series with Ducks and gets the Empire 8's automatic bid with this victory.
Carroll entered the MWC tournament by winning a four-way tie for a playoff spot and a .500 record. The Pioneers fell short of making the NCAA tournament as Monmouth finished off the Pioneers 75-67. This will be the Scots' first appearance in the Big Dance.
Elms also will make its NCAA
Tournament debut next weekend. The
Blazers edged Daniel Webster 66-64 in the NECC title game when
Erika Murphy scored three points in the final seven seconds. Westminster (Mo.) also punched its first ticket ever to the
NCAA tournament by beating Eureka 60-54 in the SLIAC
|The Vassar Brewers captured their second consecutive Liberty League title.|
Championship Saturday started with an upset. Misericordia knocked off King's 64-54 to capture the MAC Freedom championship. Misericordia athletic director David Martin, who coached men's basketball for 14 years, leads the women's team to the tournament as their interim coach. King's, which was slotted third in the most recent NCAA regional rankings, will also have a strong resume for an at-large bid.
Catholic upended No. 10 Juniata 79-69 to win its first Landmark Conference title. The Eagles were undefeated in conference and picked first in the most recent Mid Atlantic Regional Rankings. So Juniata is almost certain to take one of the 20 at-large bids and pop someone else's bubble.
Lebanon Valley restored a measure of order to the afternoon. The Flying Dutchmen held off Widener 80-71 to win the MAC Commonwealth behind Kiely Chaklos' 27 points. La Roche topped Medaille 55-49 to win the AMCC championship.
Further north, Vassar toppled St. Lawrence 79-75 to win the Liberty League title. The Saints had been undefeated in conference before the loss. Cydni Matsuoka had 20 points, seven assists and seven rebounds for the Brewers. Baruch gutted out a 65-49 win over Brooklyn in the CUNYAC title game, despite shooting just 33 percent (21-for-63). The championship game loss is Brooklyn's first to a conference opponent this season.
Home is where the wins are
It was a good day to be the top seed in the Northeast region.
Salve Regina took care of Endicott 77-61 to win the CCC
crown. Bridgewater State beat Massachusetts College
76-66 for the MASCAC title. Castleton State wrapped up the NAC with a 65-51 win
In a season of firsts, Rhode Island College won its first Little East Conference tournament title with a 50-44 victory over playoff veteran Southern Maine. The Anchorwomen will play in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1985.
At the other end of the spectrum, Emmanuel secured its 17th bid to the NCAA tournament. The Saints beat St. Joseph's (Maine) 68-57 in the GNAC title game. Similarly Mount St. Mary remains the standard for excellence in the Skyline Conference. The Knights defeated Farmingdale State 58-43 to win their 12th title in 13 seasons.
Hope College will host the 2012 NCAA
tournament championship weekend, but will the Flying Dutch have a
chance to play in the tournament? Calvin put Hope's chances for at-large bid in doubt by
beating its archrival 65-43. The Knights scored the game's
first 17 points and never looked back.
Thomas More defeated St. Vincent 77-66 to secure the Presidents' Athletic Conference automatic bid. This is the Saints' sixth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. Gwynedd-Mercy took care of Baptist Bible 68-49 in the CSAC final. The Griffins will make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2007.
Maryville (Tenn.) beat LaGrange 69-56 to grab the GSAC's automatic bid. Despite also winning the regular season title, the Scots had to win the conference final on LaGrange's home court because the GSAC rotates hosting tournament duties among its members.
Oneonta State won the SUNYAC title on Buffalo State's floor
by dropping the Bengals 50-41. The Red Dragons return to the
NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001.
No. 19 Rochester continued its free fall as the Yellowjackets lost at home to Emory 79-68. Rochester has dropped six of its last eight, but was still the top team in the most recent East regional ranking.