Saturday women: Tourney mainstays return

More news about: DePauw | Lakeland | Messiah | Scranton | Washington U.

The third time was the charm for Gillian Glackin and Messiah as the Falcons topped Albright to secure their 17th trip to the NCAA tournament.
File photo by Messiah athletics

The 2017 Division III women's basketball tournament will have lots of familiar names. Wash U? Check. Scranton? Check. DePauw? Check. Messiah? Check. Thomas More? Check. That still left some room for surprises, like the SUNYAC champ. 

SUNY New Paltz upset No. 16 SUNY Geneseo 58-57 to deny the Knights the conference title and an undefeated record in the NCAA tournament. Kit Small's jumper gave the Hawks a 56-55 lead late in the fourth quarter and then she added a layup to push the lead to three. Katie Durand answered for SUNY Geneseo to cut the lead to one but SUNY New Paltz ran down the clock and the Knights didn't get another shot off. Recap

No. 18 Trine shut down Calvin's offense and scored just enough to beat the Knights 49-42 and secure its first berth in the NCAA tournament. The Thunder outscored Calvin 14-5 in the decisive third quarter. Hayley Martin notched 14 points and 10 rebounds for Trine. Four Eureka starters scored double-figures and Luci Weis added 15 points in the Red Devils' 82-74 win over Greenville in the SLIAC tournament. Eureka will head to its first NCAA tournament.

Rose-Hulman is headed to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history after the Fightin' Engineers defeated Transylvania 50-40 in the HCAC title game Abby Bromenschenkel scored 11 points for Rose-Hulman which held an opponent below 50 points for the 18th time this year. Rochester Tech will also make its NCAA tournament debut. The Tigers topped Clarkson 85-72 in the Liberty League tournament final behind Jessica Glaz's 27-point effort. Cori Okada, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, added 21 points and eight assists.

While those teams will make their first NCAA tournament appearance, Scranton will make its 30th. After splitting the regular season series with Catholic, the Lady Royals won their rubber match with the Cardinals 58-42. Scranton held Catholic to a season-low 42 points and 88 points total in the Cardinals' two losses to Scranton. Recap

Only one step behind, Washington U. will make its 29th appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Bears rallied past Chicago 77-75 to split the season series with the Maroons and clinch the UAA's automatic bid. Wash U has won 23 conference titles under head coach Nancy Fahey.

Other NCAA tournament mainstays will also return. DePauw beat Denison 56-50 in the NCAC title game to wrap up its 14th straight appearance in the national tournament. Thomas More defeated St. Vincent 66-53 to complete its fourth consecutive perfect run to the Big Dance.

After losing both regular season games to Albright, Messiah secured its place in the NCAA Tournament by knocking off the Lions on the road, 53-50. After Messiah missed a free throw in the final seconds, Albright advanced the ball on a time out and Shannon Thomas launched a would-be tying three-pointer that hit glass, rim, went halfway down and came back out. 

Whitman beat Puget Sound 81-72 in the NWC title game after losing twice to the Loggers during the regular season. Chelsi Brewer scored 19 points and Makana Stone picked up a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) for the Blues. Puget Sound is a lock for an at-large bid, which means someone else's bubble popped with the Loggers' loss.

CUW is left hoping to claim the first Pool C bid in the history of NACC women's basketball. The conference has gone 3-9 in NCAA Tournament play. Lakeland used a 10-4 run over the final four minutes to come away with the win. The Falcons erased a 12-point deficit in the second half and led by four with 4:16 left on the clock, but Lakeland finished strong to secure the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Miranda Jacobson led three scorers in double figures for the Muskies (20-7), who shot 9-for-20, 45 percent, from outside the arc, but just 31.7 percent inside three-point range.

No. 15 Montclair State ended Rutgers-Newark's Cinderella run as the Red Hawks beat the Scarlet Knights 71-61 in the NJAC tournament final. Rutgers-Newark was attempting to become the first team with a losing record to make the Division III women's basketball tournament since St. Scholastica in 2013. Katie Sire had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Montclair State. The Red Hawks are the first team to win five consecutive NJAC titles since Kean won the conference's first nine titles from 1983-1991.

Sam Porter was one steal away from a triple-double and 11th-ranked Christopher Newport pulled away in the second half at home to defeat Mary Washington in the Capital Athletic Conference final, 74-58. Porter had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win, while Jasmine Bonivel scored a game-high 14 points off the bench. Mary Washington (23-4) should be in fine shape for an at-large bid.

FDU-Florham beat DeSales 68-62 to clinch the MAC Freedom title and keep itself out of the at-large pool. Conference Rookie of the Year Kendrea Williams scored 21 points for the Devils and senior Rachel Groom added 18 more. FDU-Florham shot 26-for-52 from the free throw line. DeSales (19-7), which just missed getting an at-large bid last year, will likely be the first team considered from the Atlantic Region this year.

Emily Gibbons scored a game-high 26 points for Gettysburg but it was Muhlenberg that shook off an early deficit and went on to defeat the Bullets 74-61 to take the Centennial Conference automatic bid. Chelsea Gary scored 18 and added a game-high 14 rebounds for the Mules (20-7), clinching likely the only tournament bid for a league that had nobody in the last regional ranking.

Westfield State pulled away from Framingham State in the fourth quarter to win the MASCAC title, 83-74. Jill Valley scored 21 points for the Owls who will make their fifth appearance in the NCAA postseason.

St. Joseph's (Maine) needed overtime but dominated the extra session and put away Emmanuel 81-70 to win the GNAC crown. Kelsi McNamara scored 28 points for the Monks who also got double-doubles from Regan McFerran (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Emily Benway (18 points, 10 rebonds). The Monks will make their third appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Regis continued its dominance in the NECC as the Pride pummeled Elms 92-49 for its fifth straight conference title. Shannon Hayes scored 23 points on 9-for-10 shooting. The Pride will make its sixth appearance in the NCAA tournament.