2018 NESCAC Women's Basketball Championship Central & Teams Preview

2018 NESCAC Women's Basketball Championship Central & Teams Preview

 AMHERST, Mass. -- The top seeded Amherst College women's basketball team will host the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) post season tournament this Saturday and Sunday. No. 1 Amherst will face off against No. 5 Wesleyan with the winner taking on the winner of No. 2 Bowdoin vs. No. 3 Tufts on Sunday for the championship.


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Saturday, Feb. 24 - No. 1 Amherst College 58, No. 5 Wesleyan University 31                         Box Score | Recap
Saturday, Feb 24 - No. 3 Tufts 60, No. 2 Bowdoin 48                                                           Box Score
Sunday, Feb. 25 - No. 1 Amherst vs No. 2 Tufts - 12:00 p.m.
Click Here for Tickets and Entry Information
Ticket Information:  Adults ($6)  -  Students & Sr. Citizens ($3)  -  Children Ages Below 2 (FREE)


Amherst College Mammoths (No. 1 NESCAC / No. 1 D3hoops.com)

3165 Location: Amherst, Mass.
 G.P. Gromacki (11st season, 320-24 since joining Amherst)
2018 Record:
 25-0, 10-0 NESCAC
2018 NESCAC Quarterfinal:
 56-34 win over Trinity

Tournament History: The NESCAC defending champions are in pursuit of back-to-back NESCAC titles and NCAA National Championships. The Mammoths have won seven NESCAC titles overall. Amherst has also appeared in seven NCAA Final Fours. 

What to Know About the Mammoths: 
The Mammoths had an undefeated regular season for the second year in a row and have won 58 consecutive games. Amherst is the top defensive team in the country, allowing 39.4 points per game and holding opponents to 28.4 percent shooting from the floor. Amherst averages 62.2 ppg on 43% shooting. Madeline Eck '20 and Hannah Fox '20 lead the Mammoths offensivly with 11.8 and 11.4 ppg, respectivly. 

Bowdoin College Polar Bears (No. 2 NESCAC / No. 3 D3hoops.com)
Location: Brunswick, Maine.
Coach: Adrienne Shibles (10th season, 218-61 at Bowdoin heading into this weekend)
2018 Record: 24-1, 9-1 NESCAC
2018 NESCAC Quarterfinal: 77-35 win over Williams 

Tournament History: The Polar Bears are the No. 2 seed for the third time overall and first time since 2015. Bowdoin has won eight NESCAC Championships, but have not claimed one since 2009. This is the Polar Bears' 18th consecutive season reaching the NESCAC semifinals. Last year, Bowodin lost in the NESCAC semifinals to Tufts before losing again in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to SUNY New Paltz.

What to Know About the Polar Bears: This is the Polar Bears best regular season (20-5) since the 2006-07 season. Their only loss was at Amherst, 49-45. Bowdoin boasts the best offense in the NESCAC, scoring 82.6 ppg. Senior Kate Kerrigan averages a team high 10.2 ppg and 2.3 steals per game.

Tufts University Jumbos (No. 3 NESCAC / No. 9 D3hoops.com)
Location: Medford, Mass.
Coach: Carla Berube (16th season, 352-91 at Tufts entering the weekend)
2018 Record: 22-3, 8-2 NESCAC
2018 NESCAC Quarterfinal: 85-48 win over Connecticut College
Tournament History: The Jumbos are the No. 3 seed for the first time since 2009 and second time overall. This is Tufts' fifth consecutive year reaching the semifinals. Last year's NESCAC and NCAA runner up, Tufts is eyeing its third NESCAC Championship and first since 2015 despite being in the championship for the past four years.

What to Know About the Jumbos:  The Jumbos are averaging 66.8 points per game, while giving up 48.3 points per game, as both marks rank third in the conference. Tufts ranks second in the NESCAC in steals, collecting an average of 11.0 per game. The Jumbos rattled off nine straight wins to open the year and the two league losses came at the hands of Bowdoin and Amherst. Sophomore Erica DeCandido averages a team high 13.3 ppg on 52.6% shooting. Melissa Baptista averages 13.0 ppg and 1.6 blocks per game.
Wesleyan University Cardinals ( No. 5 NESCAC / unranked d3hoops.com)
  Location: Middletown, Conn.
Coach: Kate Mullen (26th season, 213-177 at Wesleyan entering the weekend)
2018 Record: 17-7, 5-5 NESCAC
2018 NESCAC Quarterfinal: 63-62 win over Middlebury

Tournament History: Wesleyan is making its first appearance in the tournament since 2014, and is the No. 5 seed for the first time since 2007. The Cardinals are in the semifinals for the first time since 2008 and are still seeking their first NESCAC title. 

What to Know About the Cardinals: The Cardinals have recorded their most wins since the 2007-08 season. Wesleyan finished the regular season strong, winning seven of its final nine games. The Cardinals lead the league in rebounding (46.5) and rank second in scoring at 68.5 points per game. Wesleyan is holding opponents to 34.1 percent shooting from the field and also ranks second in the conference in assists per game (14.5). Junior Olivia Gorman leads the Cardinals with 13.3 ppg.