|DePauw has one more shot at continuing its run of NCAA Tournament runs after winning the NCAC automatic bid.
North Coast Athletic Conference photo
It looks like 2014 all over again, as familiar faces FDU-Florham and DePauw qualified for the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, looking like teams a few players removed from their former glory. DePauw won the national title in 2013 and FDU-Florham followed in 2014 but this year each knew they needed a conference tournament title this week to get back to the Big Dance.
- Saturday's women's scores
- Saturday's men's scores
- Men's conference tournament tracker
- Women's conference tournament tracker
- Even more women's game stories
- Even more men's game stories
They each clinched a spot in the 2016 Division III women's basketball Field of 64, which will be announced on Monday afternoon. Follow all the coverage this weekend and into Monday on D3hoops.com, where we'll get you all the latest projections, plus a link to the selection show and then post-selection analysis.
DePauw's streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances grew to 13 when the Tigers pounded Allegheny 83-53 for the NCAC tournament title. One night after hitting the game-winning shot against Kenyon, Emily Budde scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Florham (21-6) won its fourth consecutive MAC Freedom tournament, starting the run at the end of the first half and dominating the second in a 69-44 win at DeSales. Shalette Brown scored 15 points and had 21 rebounds for her 23rd double-double of the season.
Mary Washington made sure it was the CAC team that wasn't sitting waiting for a tournament bid as the Eagles won at Marymount 73-58 to clinch the Capital Athletic Conference automatic bid. And the third-seeded Eagles (24-4) did it with lockdown defense in the fourth quarter, holding Marymount (22-5) to just 1-for-9 shooting, winning the quarter 24-9. Kendall Parker scored 16 points in 29 minutes off the bench for Mary Washington, which defeated Marymount in all three meetings this season.
UW-Oshkosh brought a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter at UW-River Falls and held off the Falcons for its third consecutive WIAC tournament title, 65-64. The Falcons pulled within one point with 15 seconds left but Taylor Schmidt hit two free throws to put the game out of reach. Schmidt finished with 23 points for the Titans, including 7-for-8 from the free throw line. The Falcons (22-5) should be a shoo-in for an at-large bid.
No. 1 Thomas More will enter the NCAA Tournament with a perfect record for the third consecutive year. Washington and Jefferson battled the Saints to a 17-all tie score at the end of one quarter, but Thomas More took over from there and cruised to a 93-74 win. Sydney Moss tallied 37 points and 13 rebounds for the Saints, who used 17 players, the most they'll be able to play the rest of the season.
No. 2 George Fox did the same for the second year in a row. The Bruins shot 7-for-11 from three and handled Puget Sound 76-57. Unlike in prior years where the Bruins had to beat one of their conference mates during the first weekend of the tournament, this time George Fox will be the only NWC representative.
No. 3 Scranton also finished a perfect run to the NCAA tournament by beating Catholic 78-57 in the Landmark Conference tournament final. The Royals and Cardinals played a frenetic first quarter, with 57 points combined in the first period. Scranton (27-0) settled in defensively and kept Catholic to 33 points the rest of the way. The Royals captured their 25th conference title and fourth in the Landmark.
Several other teams that didn't need an automatic bid to reach the NCAA tournament secured them anyway. Muhlenberg dominated McDaniel 83-59 in the rubber match between the Centennial Conference's top two teams. Brandi Vallely rolled up 15 points, 13 assists and 6 rebounds for the Mules (24-2).
No. 6 Hope pushed past Trine 75-58 to add the MIAA tournament title to its conference championship. Maura McAfee scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Flying Dutch (26-1), offsetting a 2-for-14 shooting performance from three.
No. 8 St. Thomas handled St. Mary's (Minn.) in the MIAC tournament final, building a 35-point lead and eventually winning 77-65. Katie Stone scored a career-high 23 points for the Tommies and set a conference single-season record for three-pointers. No. 7 Texas-Tyler completed its roll through the ASC by beating Howard Payne 77-70.
Other conference clinchers
Yes, Bluffton is No. 1 in the HCAC and the Beavers will make their first NCAA tournament appearance, too.
HCAC athletics photo
- Wheaton (Ill.) had to share the CCIW title with Illinois Wesleyan, but it doesn't have to share the automatic bid with anyone. The Thunder defeated the Titans 92-70 as Katie McDaniels scored 32 points in what could be her final home game.
- Stevens used its trademark lockdown defense to shut down Ithaca 70-44 in the Empire 8 tournament. The Ducks held the Bombers to fewer field goals (eight) than turnovers (12) in the first half.
- Loras used an 11-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to defeat Luther 70-65 and grab the IIAC's automatic bid. Kaitlin Phillips hit seven 3-pointers and the Duhawks shot 53 percent.
- Albright held Messiah to two field goals in the final eight minutes of the MAC Commonwealth title game and defeated the Falcons 69-58. Kelecia Harris' double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) helped the Lions clinch their first MAC Commonwealth title.
- St. Norbert edged Cornell 56-53 for another Midwest Conference tournament title. The Rams pulled within one of St. Norbert and had the ball with 21 seconds left but could not score. Brianna Byrne was fouled and iced the game with two free throws, giving her 14 points and the Green Knights the automatic bid.
- Mackenzie Puckett had a huge afternoon with 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting as Maryville (Tenn.) won the USA South tournament with a 60-48 victory vs. Piedmont.
- University of New England overcame a rough first half to put Western New England away and win the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament final by a 56-41 score. Alanna Vose scored 18, including 4-for-9 from 3-point range.
- Regis advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season, defeating Newbury 60-38 in the NECC final behind 20 points from Amanda Hawkesworth. Regis (23-3) held the seventh-seeded Nighthawks 10-17) to 21.8 percent shooting.
- Meghan Martin poured in 31 points for Cabrini and the Cavaliers defeated Neumann 84-74 in the CSAC title game. Cabrini heads to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament.
- St. Joseph's (Maine) fought off Emmanuel 66-62 for the GNAC title. The Saints pulled even with the Monks with 1:14 left but St. Joseph's went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in its next three possessions.
- Mass-Boston's Cinderella run fell a little short. Eastern Connecticut led the sixth-seeded Beacons by one entering the fourth quarter and went on to win the Little East crown 64-56. The Warriors scored 24 points from the free throw line.
- Westfield State lost in the MASCAC title game last year but made sure that didn't happen again this season. The Owls defeated Framingham State 92-86 as Forbasaw Nkamebo scored 19 points and grabbed nine boards.
- Wisconsin Lutheran beat Aurora 61-52 in the NACC title game as Taylor Bahr tallied 23 points and 11 rebounds.
- Greenville rallied past Westminster (Mo.) 66-63 and into the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. The Blue Jays led 63-62 with 1:55 left when Kelly Lenz hit a jumper to put the Panthers in front. Westminster didn't score on its ensuing possession and Greenville put the game away from the free throw line.
- UW-Superior is headed back to the NCAA tournament after winning the automatic bid in its new conference. The Yellowjackets overpowered Northwestern (Minn.) 58-34, holding the Eagles to seven points in each of the last two quarters.
Sunday's title games
- Not surprisingly, Amherst and Tufts will square off Sunday at noon for the NESCAC championship. Tufts had little trouble with Colby in a 62-42 win, while Amherst played essentially just six players in a 63-51 win vs. Bowdoin.
- The top seeds will meet for the Old Dominion Athletic Conference title, as No. 1 Lynchburg defeated No. 4 Washington & Lee and No. 2 Guilford topped No. 3 Emory & Henry.
- Salem and UC Santa Cruz will battle Sunday for the Great South Athletic Conference title. The collection of Division III independents spanning from Massachusetts to the Michigan U.P. to the San Francisco Bay Area does not play regular season games, with the entire conference riding on this three-day tournament. UC Santa Cruz (14-11) edged Finlandia (3-24) 76-72, while Salem (9-16) rolled over Pine Manor (13-14) by a 100-77 score. And yes, this conference gets an automatic bid.
- Pitt-Bradford and La Roche advanced to the championship game of the AMCC, with third-seeded Bradford defeating second seed Penn State-Behrend and top seed La Roche rolling over No. 4 D'Youville.
- The top seeds advanced in the SAA as well, and Birmingham-Southern will host Millsaps on Sunday afternoon for the title.
- After losing to Babson earlier this season, WPI will get another crack at the Beavers, this time in the NEWMAC title game. The Engineers topped Coast Guard 48-32 and Babson took care of Springfield 59-52.