The Skyhawks will open the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in Worcester at 2:30 p.m. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Skyhawks will face 7th-seeded District of Columbia Saturday at 2:30 p.m., in Worcester, hosted by top-seeded Franklin Pierce
Stonehill (21-8, 15-7 NE-10) will open the NCAA Tournament against seventh-seeded University of District of Columbia (22-5, 13-3 ECC), who earned an at large bid out of the East Coast Conference, in a first round matchup on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Stonehill will be making its 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history, marking the fourth-straight year and fifth trip overall under the direction of ninth-year head coach David McLaughlin, who became the winningest coach in program history following the Skyhawks NE-10 quarterfinal win and boasts a 174-83 (.677) career record.
The winner of Saturday's quarterfinal will face the winner of an opening round matchup between third-seeded Adelphi University (20-8, 16-6 NE-10), an at-large bid from the NE-10 after sharing the regular season title with Franklin Pierce, and sixth-seeded LIU-C.W. Post (23-5, 15-1 ECC), regular season and tournament champions from the ECC, on Sunday at 5 p.m. The regional championship will be played on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The remaining first round matchups on Saturday include: top-seeded Franklin Pierce (21-7, 16-6 NE-10) against eighth-seeded Philadelphia University (19-9, 13-4 CACC), an at large bid from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, and fourth-seeded University of Massachusetts Lowell (19-10, 13-9 NE-10), an at large team from the Northeast-10, against the defending regional champions, Bloomfield College (24-7, 15-3 CACC), the CACC regular season and tournament champions.
Admission for the regional will be $10 for adults and $5 for children, seniors and college students presenting a valid University ID. All tickets can be purchased at Laska Gym on game days.
Stonehill earned the Northeast-10's automatic bid after topping UMass Lowell to claim the fourth NE-10 Tournament Championship in program history on Saturday afternoon. It marks the Skyhawks first tournament title since 1989, snapping a 23-year drought. Senior guard Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) earned Most Outstanding Player honors as he led Stonehill with a team-high 23 points (16 second half) on Saturday, shooting 7-of-14 from the field, including 4-fo-7 from three-point range, while converting 5-of-7 free-throws to go with five rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot. He averaged 23 points, 5.7 rebounds, three assists and three steals over the Skyhawks three NE-10 tournament wins as he shot 56.1-percent (23-41) from the field, including 10-19 (52.6%) from beyond the arc, and converted 13-of-15 (86.7%) free-throws for the week.
The winner of the men's East Region will advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, which will be held March 21-24 at the Bank of Kentucky Center in Highland Heights, Ky., and hosted by Northern Kentucky University. The East regional winner will face the Atlantic Region champion on Wednesday, March 21.
MATCHUPS IN 2012 NCAA DIVISION II EAST REGIONAL
Saturday, March 10 (Quarterfinals)
#3 Adelphi (20-8) vs. #6 C.W. Post (23-5), Noon
#2 Stonehill (21-8) vs. #7 District of Columbia (22-5), 2:30 p.m.
#1 Franklin Pierce (21-7) vs. #8 Philadelphia (19-9), 6 p.m.
#4 UMass Lowell (19-10) vs. #5 Bloomfield (24-7), 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 11 (Semifinals)
Adelphi/C.W. Post winner vs. Stonehill/UDC winner, 5 p.m.
Franklin Pierce/Philadelphia winner vs. UMass Lowell/Bloomfield winner, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 13 (Championship)
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.