Coach Trisha Brown has the Skyhawks poised for another NCAA Tournament bid (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Skyhawks face two regionally-ranked teams over final three games of regular season
EASTON, Mass. (February 20, 2019) – The defending NCAA Division II East Region champion Stonehill College women's basketball program is ranked No. 6 in the first NCAA II East Regional rankings released by the NCAA Division II Championships selection committee this afternoon.
Stonehill, which captured the NCAA East Region Championship as the top seed a year ago, is one of six Northeast-10 Conference members appearing in the first public ranking of the year. The NCAA regional rankings are used to determine the participants for the upcoming NCAA Tournament from each of Division II's eight regions. Each of the three conferences in the East Region (NE10, ECC and CACC) earn automatic bids from their conference tournament, leaving five at large bids for the NCAA Tournament. The Skyhawks seek their 25th NCAA Tournament bid in program history this season after reaching the Division II Elite Eight for the third time in program history last year.
Stonehill has played seven of the ten teams appearing in this week's rankings, including top-ranked University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, which handed the Skyhawks an 80-75 setback at the Stonehill Holiday Classic on December 30. Stonehill is 3-5 against teams in this week's top ten, which has NE10 rival Bentley University ranked second, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia third, Le Moyne College fifth and St. Thomas Aquinas College fifth ahead of the Skyhawks. Following Stonehill in this week's rankings are Saint Anselm College in seventh, Southern New Hampshire University eighth, Merrimack College ninth and Daemen College tenth.
Two of Stonehill's last three games of the regular season are against teams appearing in this week's rankings, including tonight's key NE10 battle at Merrimack at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks close out the regular season with a Senior Night matchup with Saint Anselm next Tuesday, February 26, at Merkert Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. The NE10 Tournament commences with first round play on Friday, March 1, with the quarterfinal round scheduled for Sunday, March 3. Stonehill currently sits in sole possession of second place in the NE10's Northeast Division standings with a 17-7 record overall, including 12-6 in the NE10, behind Bentley and a game ahead of Saint Anselm, two ahead of Merrimack and Southern New Hampshire.
Stonehill is the only program to have qualified for all 38 NE10 women's basketball tournaments after clinching a spot on Saturday with its 72-46 victory over Franklin Pierce University at Merkert Gym. The Skyhawks have won two straight and five of seven heading into its two road games this week.
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