Stonehill's six seniors have led the Skyhawks back to the NCAA II Elite Eight for the first time since 1995. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)
East Region Champion Skyhawks will face 5th-seeded Indiana (Pa.) in national quarterfinal Monday night
EASTON, Mass. (March 13, 2018) – The East Region Champions Stonehill College, ranked No. 11 in both the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll and D2SIDA Top 25 Media poll, has been seeded No. 4 for next week's NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Elite Eight and will face No. 5 Indiana University of Pennsylvania in a national quarterfinal at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Monday, March 19, at 9:30 p.m., EST.
Stonehill (29-3, 20-1 NE10), which won the Northeast-10 Conference regular season championship for the ninth time in program history with a program-record number of league wins, earned its third trip to the Elite Eight in program history with a 71-61 triumph over third-seeded University of the Sciences in Philadelphia at Merkert Gymnasium last night. Indiana (Pa.) (29-3, 20-2 PSAC), ranked No. 12 in the WBCA Division II poll and No. 23 in the D2SIDA poll, won the West Division in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) this winter and won the Atlantic Regional as the No. 3-seed, defeating eighth-seeded Bowie State University 75-60 for its second regional title in program history.
Stonehill has advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995 when it made its second of two-straight trips, on its way to the National Semifinals. A core of six seniors, including NE10 Player of the Year Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts /Scituate) who earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the East Regional last night, leads the Skyhawks. Classmates Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) and Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) are both two-time All-NE10 selections for the Skyhawks, while senior Elizabeth Grip (Shrewsbury, Massachusetts/Shrewsbury) is the NE10's Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the All-Tournament teams for both the NE10 Championships and East Regional. Walsh joined Grip and Martin on the regional All-Tournament team, while Martin was also on the NE10 All-Championship team.
Stonehill is in the midst of its 24th NCAA Tournament appearance, a total that ranks fourth in Division II history. The Skyhawks earned the top seed for the East Regional for just the second time in program history, hosting the regional for the first time since 1995. Stonehill opened the regional with a commanding 70-45 win over 8th-seeded Southern Connecticut State University in Friday's opening round, before defeating 4th-seeded Saint Thomas Aquinas College in the regional semifinals leading to its matchup with 3rd-seeded USciences last night. This is the 11th NCAA bid under head coach Trisha Brown, in her 17th season.
Monday's Stonehill/IUP winner will advance to the National Semifinal Round on Wednesday, March 21, to face the winner of Monday's National Quarterfinal between top-seeded and reigning National Champions Ashland University (34-0, 20-0 GLIAC) and eighth-seeded Montana State University-Billings (25-11, 12-8 GNAC). Monday's other quarterfinal round matchups include No. 2 Carson-Newman University (32-2, 18-2 SAC) against No. 7 Union (Tenn.) University (31-3, 18-2 GSC) and No. 3 Lubbock Christian University (31-1, 14-0 Heartland) against No. 6 Central Missouri University (27-3, 18-2 MIAA). The NCAA Division II National Championship will be played on Friday, March 23, at 8 p.m. (EST). The National Semifinal and Championship games will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network, with the quarterfinals streamed through ncaa.com.
2018 NCAA II Elite Eight Seeds
1 – Ashland (Ohio), 34-0, 20-0 GLIAC – Defending National Champions… Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
2 – Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 32-2, 18-2 SAC – South Atlantic Conference
3 – Lubbock Christian (Texas), 31-1, 14-0 Heartland – 2016 National Champions… Heartland Conference
4 – Stonehill (Mass.), 29-3, 20-1 NE10) – Northeast-10 Conference
5 – Indiana (Pa.), 29-3, 20-2 PSAC) – Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
6 – Central Missouri, 27-3, 18-2 MIAA – Midwestern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
7 – Union (Tenn.), 31-3, 18-2 GSC – Gulf South Conference
8 – Montana State-Billings, 25-11, 12-8 GNAC – Great Northwest Athletic Conference
NCAA DIVISION II ELITE EIGHT SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern)
QUARTERFINALS – MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 (NCAA.com)
#6 Central Missouri (27-3) vs. #3 Lubbock Christian (32-2), 1 p.m.
#7 Union (29-3) vs. #2 Carson-Newman (32-2), 3:30 p.m.
#8 Montana State-Billings (25-11) vs. #1 Ashland (34-0), 7 p.m.
#5 Indiana (Pa.) (29-3) vs. #4 Stonehill (29-3), 9:30 p.m.
SEMIFINALS – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2018 (CBS Sports Network)
#3-#6 winner vs. #2-#7 winner, 7 p.m.
#1-#8 winner vs. #4-#5 winner, 9:30 p.m.
CHAMPIONSHIP – FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2014, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
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