Both the CACC and ECC regular seasons are quickly coming to a close, with both loops in action on Tuesday and playoff scenarios clearing up. The report starts with action in the ECC…
Queens locked up an ECC post season berth with a hard-earned 66-58 win at Mercy. Beth Bonin (24 points, 5-11 3FG) and Marina Ramon Lopez (13 points, 12 boards) filled the stat sheet for the Knights, who fell behind early but rallied to prevail. The Mavericks led 33-24 late in the first half and pulled into the break with a 38-33 lead. It was a 44-37 game with 7:25 left in the third quarter when QC struck with the killer run, a 13-0 surge that gave them the lead for good (50-44). Mercy stayed in it and was still as close as 62-58 with 41 seconds left after an Amber Brown (18 points) basket but Bonin sank 4-4 at the line thereafter to confirm the result. Cynthia Perez (12 points) was also in double digits for the Mavericks in a game effort. The Knights will be on the road for the ECC playoffs as either the #5 or #6 seed… Bridgeport did their part to stay alive in the ECC playoff race with a 54-40 victory over Molloy but Queens’ win eliminated the Purple Knights just the same. UB’s defense was dominant in the first half against the Lions, holding Molloy to just 3-25 field goal shooting in the first half and arriving at the half with an astounding 25-7 lead. Molloy more than doubled its point total with a 16-point third period and they played UB closer in the second half but the damage was already done. Bridgeport’s lead never dipped below double figures in the second half as they coasted to the win. Samnell Vonleh (11 points, 12 boards) and Morgen Caution (10 points, 9 caroms) led a UB attack which ruled the glass (49-21) and fared a lot better than Molloy from deep (UB 7-17; Molloy 4-16 3FG). The Lions, who have lost ten in a row, were topped by Melody Prichard’s 19 points.
Saturday will feature a CACC North Division showdown for the top seed when Caldwell hosts Bloomfield; both teams warmed up for the clash with wins on Wednesday… Caldwell came back after digging an early hole and beat Post, 79-69, to pick up its sixth straight win. The Eagles held a 22-11 lead less than eight minutes into the contest but the Cougars caught them at 27 and eventually surged ahead by the half, 38-33. Caldwell pushed the gap to 60-48 late in the third period but Post hung in it and chopped the margin down to 72-66 with 2:50 left. The Cougars stayed the course, though, to nail it down. Kristen Siscamanis (17 points, 10 rebounds), Kristen Drogsler (17 points), Maura Kelty (13 points) and Sharell Sanders (10 points, 6 assists) all played key roles for the Cougars while Gabriela Middleton (14 points, 7 helpers), Jasmyne Fogle (12 points) and Meaghan Gotham (10 points, 8 rebounds) propped up Post. The loss eliminated the Eagles from post season contention… Bloomfield nipped Felician, 52-46, to stay in step with Caldwell near the top of the CACC North. On the flip side, Felician clinched a playoff spot (as the #4 seed in the loop) thanks to Post’s loss and will travel to Sciences for a quarterfinal contest. The Bears never actually trailed in this game but their advantages at the various checkpoints (26-20 at the half, 41-38 after three frames) were slim. BC extended their edge to 52-42 with 3:56 to play and despite not scoring again they were able to hold on. Zhane Robinson (12 points, 12 boards), Bobbi Floyd (11 points, 11 caroms) and Aanise Barnes (8 points, 13 boards) were the pivotal figures for Bloomfield as they enjoyed a +13 on the glass (59-46). Shana Owen, Kameron Stone (12 points each) and Treanda Foster (13 rebounds) played well for the Golden Falcons, who out-shot BC on the night, 31-25%... The other CACC North Division playoff piece fell into place as Dominican claimed the #3 seed with an 81-46 decision against Concordia. The Chargers had little issue here, blasting to a 41-19 halftime lead and rolling in from there. Jasmine Gee (22 points, 12 boards) and Taylor Tomlinson (11 points, 8 rebounds) led the DC effort as they shot better (45-28%), won the boards (49-37) and scored 32 points off 23 Clipper turnovers. Nicole Nicholson (16 points) and Amiya Rankins (10 points) reached double digits for Concordia.
The CACC South Division playoff spots are now finalized after Wednesday’s slate… Jefferson secured the #2 seed (behind idle #1 seed the University of the Sciences) by fending off Goldey-Beacom, 70-56.The Rams held a 28-22 halftime lead and widened it to 46-35 by the end of three periods, keeping the Lightning at least eight points back the rest of the way. Alynna Williams (23 points), Jessica Kaminski (13 points, 10 boards) and Rachel Day (10 points) got the job done for the Rams as they posted a +16 on the glass (44-28). Britani Bryson (15 points, 8 rebounds) and Tanner Turner-Rush (15 points; 5-11 3FG) helped the Lightning stay close. Jefferson will host Dominican in a CACC quarterfinal game… Chestnut Hill will be the #3 seed from the CACC South as a result of the Jefferson win but the Griffins took care of their own business with a 68-63 win against #4 seed Holy Family. The Tigers led for much of the first half (22-12 was the peak lead) and by a 26-23 halftime count but a 12-4 run helped the Griffins claim a 42-41 edge by the end of the third frame. CHC stretched the lead to 55-45 (5:12) before the Tigers fought back with a 13-4 spell to trim it to 59-58 at the 2:23 mark. That was as close as HFU came as Cassie Sebold and Shannon Glenn (11 points) tallied the next five points for Chestnut Hill to make it 64-58 (1:11), enough to see the game out. Vicky Tumasz (18 points; 5-8 3FG) and Cailey Gibson (14 points, 7 boards) topped the CHC attack and they will visit either Caldwell or Bloomfield in the CACC quarterfinals. Alexis Hofstaedter (16 points, 7 boards, 5 assists), Elizabeth Radley (14 points), Casey Thomas (12 points, 6 rebounds) and Casey Schweitzer (10 points, 7 caroms) filled the stat sheet for Holy Family, who will also travel to either Caldwell or Bloomfield in the CACC playoffs… Georgian Court rode a decisive 16-0 run spanning the third and fourth periods to claim an 83-72 win over Wilmington and snap a five-game slide. The Lions scored the final four points of the third period to go ahead for keeps (60-58) and then tacked on the first dozen to kick off the last frame (72-58), leaving the Wildcats stranded. Jaelyn Tweedy scored ten of her 20 points during the big splurge, joining Jess Placher (28 points; 4-9 3FG) and Carna Prokic (14 points) as GCU’s big guns. Macy Robinson (28 points) and Emma Matthews (13 points) were among four double digit scorers for WU but they still sustained their ninth straight setback. Georgian Court shot a bit better (49-44%) and made a few more three-pointers (9-7) in a game that saw eight ties and seven lead changes.
This week’s all-important NCAA Division II East Regional rankings were released yesterday with the top seven teams exactly the same as last week: Stonehill (#1), Sciences (#2), Bentley (#3), St. Thomas Aquinas (#4), Caldwell (#5), LIU Post (#6) and Jefferson (#7). Southern Connecticut moved up from #10 to #8 while Roberts Wesleyan dropped from #8 to #9. St. Anselm is the only new entrant (#10), bumping Southern New Hampshire from the poll.