Feb. 28, 2012
NCAA Tournament Notes
JHU Last Time Out
The Johns Hopkins women’s basketball team earned its second-straight regular season conference crown and hosted the championship tournament for the second-straight year. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the trend would continue and after defeating Haverford in the semifinal round, the Blue Jays fell to Muhlenberg for the second-straight year in the championship game. However, the trend would continue with an upswing and the Blue Jays earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament once again this season.
Hopkins opened the championship tournament with the pesky Haverford. The Fords swept the season series against the Blue Jays, holding Hopkins to a season-low 37 points in the second contest. The Blue Jays avenged the two losses with a 55-47 victory to propel them into the championship game. Junior Alex Vassila scored a game-high 18 points, grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds and added four blocked shots while the Blue Jays got 13 points and nine assists from senior Stephanie Fong and eight points, eight rebounds and three assists from senior Chantel Mattiola. The Blue Jays held a commanding 43-30 advantage in rebounding and held the Fords to just 31-percent shooting from the field (18-of-58).
After Muhlenberg handed Franklin & Marshall a 51-47 loss to end the Dips’ season, the Mules earned a spot in the championship game against Hopkins. Muhlenberg never trailed in the game and went on to win, 74-53. Fong and freshman Haley Bush led the Blue Jays in scoring with 10 points apiece while Vassila pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds. Fong handed out nine assists while Vassila swatted away three shots. The Mules’ Alexandra Chili led all scoring with 28 points to set a new conference scoring record with 1,966 career points.
Muhlenberg earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament while the Blue Jays had to wait until Monday to learn they earned an at-large bid and will travel to Medford, MA to play in the first two rounds of the tournament, hosted by Tufts.
UNE Last Time Out
Fourth-seeded Endicott College drew top-seeded UNE in the Commonwealth Coast Conference semifinals and came away with a 53-39 upset victory to advance to the championship game played on the Nor’easters’ home court.
UNE held a slight 33-31 advantage early in the second half, but the Gulls evened the score at 33 apiece with 18 minutes to play and never trailed again.
For the Nor’easters, senior Kelley Paradis and junior Beth Suggs each had 14 points. Suggs, who finished with 18 boards, corralled nine of UNE’s 25 offensive rebounds, and the Nor’easters finished with a 53-37 advantage on the glass. Freshman Kelly Coleman also reached double figures in rebounds (10), with seven coming on the offensive end.
UNE suffered from shooting just 24 percent (17-for-71) in the contest.
The Blue Jays enter the 2012 NCAA Tournament in pod against three teams they have never faced. Hopkins opens the tournament against University of New England on Friday, March 2 at 6:00 pm. The Blue Jays enter the weekend as the two-seed in their opening round while the Nor’easters are the third seed.
The Blue Jays earned an at large bid to the tournament after a 23-4 season after falling to Muhlenberg in the Centennial Conference title game. Hopkins is 12-9 overall in NCAA Tournament action and is the most experienced NCAA Tournament participant this weekend.
The University of New England earned an at-large bid to the tournament and is making just its second appearance in the tournament. The Nor’easters are 0-1 in tournament action.
The second game of the first round will feature host and top-seeded Tufts against fourth-seeded Misericordia.
Tufts punched its ticket to the dance after receiving an at-large bid to the tournament. The Jumbos fell to #1 Amherst in the NESCAC championship game and ended their season 21-6. It is Tufts’ fourth NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2010.
Misericordia clinched its first ever NCAA Tournament berth with a 64-54 win at King’s in the Freedom Conference championship game on Saturday. The Cougars are 17-10 overall under interim head coach David Martin and were 10-4 in the league to earn the second seed in the post-season tournament.
The winner of the Johns Hopkins/University of New England game will face the winner of the Tufts/Misericordia game on Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 pm. The winner of the second round will advance to the sectionals round of the tournament, held next weekend, March 9-10.
At the Last Dance
The Blue Jays earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after the 2010-11 season as well. Hopkins traveled to Christopher Newport and faced Richard Stockton in the opening round. JHU handed RSU a 76-68 loss to end the Ospreys’ season. Then senior Lyndsay Burton poured in a career-high 31 points to lead Johns Hopkins past Richard Stockton.
Hopkins then faced host and top-seeded Christopher Newport in the second round. The Blue Jays saw their season come to a close with an 81-62 loss to 12th-ranked Christopher Newport. CNU shot a stellar 50 percent (27-54) from the floor and its strong shooting proved to be too much for Hopkins to overcome, while the Blue Jays shot 38 percent (27-71).
Burton recorded her 11th double-double of the season and 27th of her career with 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way for JHU. Kat Fox totaled a season-high 12 points for the Blue Jays, while Chantel Mattiola and Fatu Conteh added 10 points each.
Senior Stephanie Fong currently leads the Blue Jays and is second in the Centennial with 152 assists this season, and has 336 in her career and is now tied for fifth on JHU’s career list. Fong has led Hopkins in that category in the previous two seasons.
Junior forward Alex Vassila currently leads Hopkins and is tied atop the Centennial in blocked shots with 54 on the season. Vassila took over second place on JHU’s career block list with her two blocks against Gettysburg. Vassila now has 130 blocks in her career as a Blue Jay.
In the Polls
In a preseason vote of the Centennial Conference Coaches and SIDs, Hopkins was picked to finish second with a total of 183 points and eight first place votes.
In the latest USA Today ESPN/WBCA Coaches Poll and the d3hoops.com weekly poll, the Blue Jays are the first team listed as receiving votes.