2019 NESCAC Women's Basketball Preview

2019 NESCAC Women's Basketball Preview


AMHERST, Mass. -- The #2 seeded Amherst College women's basketball team will travel to Brunswick, Maine for the semifinals and championship of the 2019 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's basketball tournament. After defeating Wesleyan in the quarterfinals last Saturday, Amherst will be in the semifinals for the 12th consecutive year and are looking for their fourth straight and ninth overall NESCAC title.

Saturday, Feb. 23 - No. 5 Middlebury at No. 1 Bowdoin, 2 PM                   
Saturday, Feb 23 - No. 2 Amherst vs. No. 3 Tufts, 4 PM                                                 
Sunday, Feb. 24 - Championship Game, 12 PM
Click Here for Tickets, Parking and Entry Information
Ticket Information:  Adults ($6)  -  Students, Children, Sr. Citizens ($3) 


#1 Seed Bowdoin College Polar Bears (No. 1 D3 Hoops.com)

Location: Brunswick, Maine
 Adrienne Shibles (11th Season)
2018-19 Record:
 25-0, 10-0 NESCAC

Tournament History: Bowdoin has been in the NESCAC championship every year and owns eight NESCAC titles. This year, Bowdoin joined Amherst and Tufts as the only teams to post perfect NESCAC regular season slates, marking the sixth straight year that the top seed in the tournament has had a perfect conference record. Bowdoin is in the semifinals for the 19th consecutive season but has not been in the championship game since 2015. They last won the title in 2009.

Quarterfinals Recap: The top-seeded Polar Bears set a conference tournament scoring record in a 96-75 win over Connecticut College.  Bowdoin led 26-25 after the highest scoring quarter in NESCAC tournament history. Five players were in double-figures for Bowdoin, who shot 53% from the field and 57% from three-point range (11-19). Taylor Choate had 22 points and three steals and Maddie Hasson had 20 points and seven rebounds.

Players to Watch: 
Abby Kelly and Maddie Hasson average just over 14 points per game, while Choate scores 12.2 points per contest. Hasson leads the NESCAC with a 62.7 field goal percentage and leads the team with 5.3 rebounds per game, while Hannah Graham is on top of the conference with a 50% three-point field goal percentage (27-54). Samantha Roy dishes out 4.3 assists per game while Choate averages 3.6 helpers and two steals a game.

#2 Seed Amherst College Mammoths (No. 4 D3hoops.com)
Location: Amherst, Mass.
Coach: G.P. Gromacki (12th Season)
2018-19 Record: 23-2, 9-1 NESCAC

Tournament History: Amherst has won the title eight times, including each of the last three years. The Mammoths are 32-8 in the NESCAC tournament and have been in the finals eleven times. This is the fourth straight year that Amherst is one of the top two seeds. Amherst is 2nd i nthe country in defensive scoring (48.2 ppg), while Tufts, their semifinals opponent, leads the nation (47.8 ppg).

Quarterfinals Recap: Amherst got 23 points from Hannah Fox '20 and used a 19-6 third quarter to break open the game on their way to a 60-40 win over Wesleyan. Fox was 4-9 from three-point land and Maeve McNamara '19 was 3-6 from downtown and scored 15 points while dishing out six assists.

Players to Watch: Junior Madeline Eck is the leading scorer in the NESCAC, averaging 16.4 points per game, while Fox averages 16.3 points a contest. Eck shoots 51.8% from the field, among the top five shooters in the league. At the point gaurd, the tandem of McNamara and Fox have combined to average 6.5 assists per game. Cam Hendricks '20, Dani Valdez '22 and Fox all average 6.0 rebounds per contest.

#3 Seed Tufts University Jumbos (No. 6 D3hoops.com)
Location: Medford, Mass.
Coach: Carla Berube (17th Season)
2018-19 Record: 23-2, 8-2 NESCAC

Tournament History: The Jumbos are in the NESCAC tournament for the 17th consecutive season and won the titles in 2014 and 2015. Their quarterfinals victory this year was the 20th in tournament history for the Jumbos, who are looking to make their sixth consecutive trip to the NESCAC championship game. 

Quarterfinals Recap: Tufts saw senior Jac Knapp and sophomore Emily Briggs score in double-figures in a 75-51 win over Williams. Tufts scored 31 points in the opening quarter, taking a 31-14 lead over the Ephs and never looking back. Knapp scored 19 points while Cailin Harrington scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds. Tufts shot 47.5% from the floor and had a 37-26 edge on the boards.

Players to Watch:  Knapp averages 13.5 points per game and shoots 50% from the field, while Erica DeCandido scores 12.3 points and hands out 3.6 assists per contest. The 2018 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, Emily Briggs shoots 49.1% and averages 10.1 points per game. First year guard Molly Ryan is fourth in the conference with 1.9 steals per game. 

#5 Seed Middlebury College Panthers
  Location: Middlebury, Vt.
Coach: KJ Krasco (5th Season)
2018-19 Record: 19-6, 5-5 NESCAC

Tournament History: The only team to pull off an upset in the quarterfinals, Middlebury is in their 14th NESCAC championship and their fifth consecutive. They have advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2013 and were the tournament runners-up in 2002, their only finals appearance. Middlebury's 19 victories this year are the most since their record-breaking 22-win campaign in 2001-02.

Quarterfinals Recap: Middlebury held on to a slim six-point halftime lead to defeat Trinity on the road in the quarterfinals. Maya Davis led the Panthers with 22 points, while Alex Huffman grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Davis scored back to back buckets in the fourth quarter as the Panthers extended a one-point lead (53-52). 

Players to Watch: The leading scorer on the team, Davis averages 12.6 points per game, good for tenth in the conference, though her 58.1% shooting is second in the league. Colleen Caveney (11.5 points per game) is the only onther Panther in double-figures. Davis is second in the league in rebounding (7.7) while teammate Betsy Knox is second in the conference with 1.5 blocks to go with 1.4 steals per contest.