Raymond formally introduced herself to the East Region on Friday with 22 points, eight rebounds and two assists in the Skyhawks first round win (PHOTO BY Tom Weishaar)
No. 6-seeded Skyhawks looks to mark third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance with regional final berth when it faces #7 Saint Anselm Saturday at 5 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (March 15, 2019) – Sixth-seeded Stonehill College, the reigning NCAA II East Region Champions, aims to reach the regional championship game for the second-straight year when it battles Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division rival and seventh-seeded Saint Anselm College in second round action at the 2019 NCAA Division II Tournament's East Regional, hosted by top-seeded and No. 6/6 University of the Sciences, at Bobby Morgan Arena on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Admission is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students, children and senior citizens. All-session passes are also available for $25 for adults and $13 for students, children and senior citizens. The game will be broadcast by the CACC Network at caccnetwork.com and available on digital television via Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. The CACC Network app is available to download through iTunes and Google Play stores as well. Tim McCaffery, Tim Jimenez, Jerry Milani and Ben Dinallo, Jr. will be combining to call the action for all the East Regional games this weekend. Links to the webcast and live stats are available at stonehillskyhawks.com.
Stonehill (20-9, 14-7 NE10) reached the 20-win mark for the second-straight year, and 26th time in program history overall, when all nine players who saw the court scored in a balanced and well-rounded 86-77 triumph over second-seeded Jefferson University (29-3, 17-2 CACC), ranked No. 10 in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll and 19th in the D2SIDA Top 25 media poll, to open the regional at Bobby Morgan Arena on Friday. Freshman Kayla Raymond, the NE10 Rookie of the Year, scored 13 of her team-high 22 points in the second half as she finished shooting 9-for-12 from the floor, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, reaching 20-plus points for the eighth time this season, while pulling down a team-high matching eight rebounds, with two assists. Sophomore Jennifer Worden added 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 3-for-7 from three-point distance, with seven assists, five rebounds and a steal for the Skyhawks.
Saint Anselm (20-9, 13-8 NE10) notched its first NCAA Tournament win since 1999 by stifling second-seeded and No. 12/14 Bentley University (28-4, 20-1 NE10) in a 59-40 decision in Friday's second game. Sophomore Peyton Steinman scored a game-high 21 points for the Hawks on 7-of-16 shooting, with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Saint Anselm held the Falcons to just eight points in the first half, including a mere pair in the second quarter when it outscored Bentley 14-2 in the frame in staking out a 27-8 halftime lead.
Top-seeded and No. 6/6 USciences (30-2, 18-1 CACC) will face fourth-seeded Le Moyne College (25-5, 15-5 NE10) in Saturday's second regional semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Saturday's two winners will advance to Monday's NCAA East Regional Championship at 7 p.m., for the opportunity to punch a ticket to the Division II Elite Eight in Columbus, Ohio, March 26-29.
Worden added 17 points, seven assists and five boards on Friday and is also a key member of the Skyhawks this season (PHOTO BY Tom Weishaar)
Saturday will mark just the second time in NCAA East Regional history that the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds will square off in the second round, both of which have included Stonehill. No. 7 Bryant defeated No. 6 Stonehill 70-58 in the 2004 NCAA East Region semifinals, hosted by Merrimack College, in North Andover, Massachusetts. Stonehill and Saint Anselm, two NE10 Northeast Divisional foes, will meet for the third time this season and 89th time all-time, with their third NCAA Tournament encounter. The Skyhawks hold a 64-24 advantage in the all-time series with Saint Anselm, having won each of the two previous NCAA Tournament matchups.
Stonehill has won four-straight against Saint Anselm, sweeping the regular season series each of the last two years, posting a 74-65 victory in Manchester, New Hampshire, back on November 20, and then adding a 60-48 win on Senior Night at Merkert Gym in Easton on February 26 that clinched the second seed from the Northeast Division for the NE10 Tournament.
Raymond and junior Grace Carter led the Skyhawks over the two wins against Saint Anselm this season as the Skyhawks averaged 67 points per game on 39.5% shooting, including 34.3% from three, while the Hawks averaged 56.5 points on 32.3% shooting, including just 3-for-30 (10%) from deep. Raymond averaged 14.5 points, seven rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals in the two wins, while Carter contributed 13 points per game on 5-of-12 (41.7%) shooting from long range. Junior Shannon Ryan averaged a double-double of 16.5 points and 13.5 rebounds over the regular season series against Stonehill for Saint Anselm, but was limited to 31.8% shooting, while converting 5-of-14 (35.7%) free-throws, with two assists and a blocked shot per game. Steinman added 15 points, five rebounds and two steals, shooting 35.7%, including 2-for-11 (18.2%) from long range.
Saturday will mark the first NCAA Tournament appearance since the programs met in back to back regionals back in 1994 and 1995 – both years culminated with Stonehill trips to the Elite Eight. Stonehill posted a 96-89 victory over Saint Anselm in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament in Waltham, Massachusetts, and then defeated the Hawks 83-69 in the 1995 regional final in Easton.
Stonehill, the defending NCAA East Regional Champions, will be looking to reach the regional championship for its third-straight NCAA appearance and tenth time in program history overall. The Skyhawks are in the NCAA Tournament for the 25th time in program history, a total that ranks fourth in Division II history behind only Cal Poly Pomona (26), Delta State University (27) and East Region rival Bentley (35). It marks the 12th NCAA bid for Stonehill in head coach Trisha Brown's 18 seasons at the helm, with the Skyhawks having won at least one game at the event in now eight-straight trips.
Stonehill has now won five of its last seven after Friday's opening round win. The Skyhawks are 11-4 away from home this season, winning both neutral site matchups after yesterday's victory, and are 11-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournament against fellow NE10 members. Stonehill is ranked fifth in the NE10 for scoring defense (60.0 ppg) and sixth for scoring offense (67.8 ppg), leading the NE10 and ranking fourth nationally in Division II with 19.0 assists per game. The Skyhawks rank fourth in the Conference for field goal percentage (.416) and sixth in three-point field goal percentage (32.6%), connecting on 7.1 three-point field goals per game (4th). Stonehill leads the NE10 with 5.2 blocked shots per game, ranking 14th nationally, and assist/turnover ratio (18th nationally).
Carter joins Raymond in averaging double-figures in scoring this season (PHOTO BY Tom Weishaar)
Raymond, the first freshman in Stonehill history to earn All-NE10 honors with her second team selection, is averaging a team-high 16.2 points per game (8th NE10), shooting 49.7-percent from the field (12th), including 39.4% (39-for-99) from three-point distance (5th), and converting 79.5% (31-39) of her free-throws. She is also contributing a team-best 5.8 rebounds, with 1.5 assists, 1.7 blocked shots (6th) and a steal in 23.8 minutes per game. Raymond's 404 points this season is tied for second among Stonehill freshman in program history with Ann Mallory, '83, 46-points shy of Stonehill and NE10 Hall of Famer Sue Patchett, '97 who netted a program-record 450 points in her first collegiate season in 1993-94.
Carter is the only other Stonehill player scoring in double figures with 10.1 points per game, connecting at 34.2% (69-202) from three-point distance, with 2.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and a steal per game. Junior Gabrielle Reuter adds 9.2 points on 52.4% shooting, with 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.9 blocked shots (5th) per game, while Worden contributes 8.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists (6th) and 1.3 steals per contest.
Saint Anselm, making its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, picked up its first NCAA Tournament win since a 59-51 victory over Franklin Pierce University in the opening round of the 1999 regional in Waltham, Massachusetts, with Friday's first round upset of Bentley. It marked the Hawks first NCAA Tournament win over the Falcons since 1995 and just their third over the last 50 encounters with their NE10 divisional rivals. Saint Anselm has also reached the 20-win mark for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
Saint Anselm has won four of six since a three-game slide in mid-February and ranks fourth in the NE10 for scoring defense (59.3 ppg) and scoring offense (68.8 ppg). The Hawks lead the Conference in field goal percentage defense (.353), three-point percentage defense (.259) and rebounding margin (+8.6/gm).
Saint Anselm is led by the All-NE10 duo of Ryan and Steinman. Ryan, a first team All-NE10 selection, averages a double-double of 18.7 points and 12.1 rebounds per game, shooting 50.6-percent from the floor, while adding 2.4 blocked shots per contest. Steinman, a third team All-NE10 pick, adds 14.2 points on 40.5% shooting, including 39.6% (42-for-106) from beyond the arc, converting 87.5% (105-120) of her free-throws, with 6.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
Junior Sara Messler contributes 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while sophomore Grace Gauchione chips in 7.5 points, 4.3 boards, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals per outing.
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2019 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Tournament
hosted by University of the Sciences
Bobby Morgan Arena; Philadelphia, Pa.
Friday, March 15
#6 Stonehill 86, #3 Jefferson 77
#7 Saint Anselm 59, #2 Bentley 40
#1 USciences 46, #8 NYIT 41
#4 Le Moyne 55, #5 St. Thomas Aquinas 43
Saturday, March 16
#7 Saint Anselm (20-9, 13-8 NE10) vs. #6 Stonehill (20-9, 14-7 NE10), 5 p.m.
#4 Le Moyne (25-5, 15-5 NE10) at #1 USciences (30-2, 18-1 CACC), 7:30 p.m.
Monday, March 18
Semifinal Winners, 7 p.m.