SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – For the first time since 2013-14, the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) had two representatives in the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship as both the University of New England and Roger Williams received berths. However, both teams dropped their First Round games on Friday (March 2) night to eliminate them from Championship contention.
CCC Tournament Champion UNE made its seventh straight NCAA appearance. The Nor'easters jumped out early scoring the first four points of the game before RIT would get hot, outscoring UNE 24-13 in the first quarter and never looking back. The Tigers outshot UNE 48.4 percent to 29.4 percent in the first half and 45.0 percent to 30.9 percent in the game.
Roger Williams held the lead in its game early on, but could not hold back a tough Emory and Henry team. After one quarter, the Hawks held a 20-17 lead, but the Wasps would take over in the second. The Wasps doubled-up the Hawks in the second quarter, 16-8. Emory and Henry took the lead for good with just over two minutes remaining in the half and held on to advance to the Second Round.
RIT 76, University of New England 63
EWING, N.J. – Paced by a combined 44 points from Cori Okada (Fullerton, Calif.) and Jessica Glaz (Rockaway Beach, N.Y.), Rochester Institute of Technology defeated the University of New England by a 76-63 margin in the First Round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship on Friday evening (Mar. 2) at Packer Hall on the campus of The College of New Jersey.
The Tigers (22-6) advance to Saturday's Second Round against regional host TCNJ, which topped Hilbert College, 61-42.
UNE's 10-game unbeaten streak comes to an end with the setback, wrapping up the year at 23-6 overall.
Okada nearly doubled her season average with a game-high 24 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field. Glaz buried 5-of-9 attempts from long distance and finished with 20 points to go with eight rebounds. Sabrina Wolfe (Troy, N.Y.) totaled 11 points.
RIT's accuracy from the floor proved to be the difference. The Tigers connected at a 52 percent clip through 30 minutes, and closed at 27-for-60 with an 8-of-19 showing from behind the arc. The Nor'easters, meanwhile, struck for 31 percent in the game (21-of-68) and 23 percent from deep (7-for-31).
For UNE, Ashley Coneys (Dover, N.H.) notched a season-high 20 points and seven boards prior to fouling out with five minutes to go. Olivia Shaw (Saco, Maine) booked her 10th double-double with 19 points and a match-best 11 rebounds, while Jocelyn Chaput (Nashua, N.H.) went for 16 points, seven caroms, and three steals.
The Nor'easters hit their first two shots of the night, but found themselves down nine (15-6) with 6:37 gone. Glaz tallied 11 for the Tigers during the turnaround. The separation reached 24-13 at the conclusion of the 1st quarter, before settling on 42-32 at the half.
Seven by Chaput sparked a 10-3 run early in the 3rd to trim the RIT advantage to three (47-44), but Okada countered with nine as part of a 17-4 stretch that pushed the gap to its peak (64-48).
UNE held the Tigers to just four free throws through almost eight minutes in the 4th, and had it down to 10 (68-58) with 6:54 remaining, but then suffered its own five-minute scoring drought.
The outcome closes the careers for Sam MacDonald (Lebanon, N.H.), Shaw, and Kristie McNall (Wakefield, Mass.). MacDonald, the only four-year player in the group, factored in 115 games and racked up 886 points while helping UNE post a 95-22 mark over that time. Shaw finishes her three campaigns with the Nor'easters at third on the program's all-time blocks list (82), and she grabbed the ninth-most rebounds in a single season during 2017-18 (273).
Including Shaw's first collegiate season at another institution, she totaled 982 points over 106 games.
Game recap courtesy of the University of New England Sports Information Department.
Emory & Henry 66, Roger Williams 55
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. - The Roger Williams women's basketball team was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament Friday evening after falling 66-55 to Emory & Henry University in the opening round.
Both teams earned their way to the tournament after securing an at-large bid. Roger Williams came into the game with a single-season record 23-5 record while the Wasps were making their NCAA Tournament debut at 22-6.
The Hawks came out hot with back-to-back three-pointers from Gabby Jerahian (Quincy, Mass.) and Anna Walther (Northampton, Mass.) to begin the game. RWU held the lead for the first four minutes of the game before Chloe Harris (Bristol, Va.) tied the game at eight with a jumper at 5:46. Teagan Dunn (Burlington, Conn.) hit a jumper on the other end to regain the lead for RWU but the Wasps responded with a 7-0 run to take a 15-10 lead with 1:55 left in the opening quarter. However, RWU closed out the period with a 10-2 run of their own to take a 20-17 lead going into the second quarter.
The Hawks maintained the lead for most of the early part of the second quarter but the Wasps continued to slowly creep back into the game. Emory & Henry would eventually notch the tying basket on a Sydney McKenney (Big Stone Gap, Va.) layup to knot the game at 27 with 3:42 left in the half. The Hawks would be held to only one point over the rest of the quarter as the Wasps took a 33-28 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Wasps kept RWU at arms' length. RWU's deficit hovered between five and nine for most of the period. RWU made a run towards the end of the quarter, using an 11-2 run to cut a 13-point deficit to two (45-47) with 13 seconds left. Emory & Henry would hit a jumper in the closing seconds to take a four-point lead into the final quarter.
Roger Williams's offense struggled early in the fourth, held scoreless over the first two and a half minutes of the game while Emory & Henry extended the lead to seven. RWU scored only two points over the first seven minutes of the quarter, allowing the Wasps to go up by 17. Emory & Henry only scored one point over the final three minutes but the Hawks could not come back as the Wasps moved on to the second round.
Dunn finished with a game-high 18 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks. Jerahian added 12 points and five boards, with Walther chipping in with eight points and three steals.
Game recap courtesy of the Roger Williams Sports information Department.
2018 NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
NCAA First Round – Friday, March 2
Hosted by TCNJ (Ewing Township, N.J.)
RIT def. University of New England, 76-63 | BOX
TCNJ def. Hilbert, 61-42
Hosted by Messiah (Grantham, Pa.)
Emory & Henry def. Roger Williams, 66-55 | BOX
No. 15 Messiah def. Oberlin, 64-54
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and four associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.