#25/25 Women's Basketball Hosts Defending Champs in NE10 Semifinal

Northeast Division Champion Skyhawks host Southwest No. 2 and reigning NE10 Champions Le Moyne Thursday at 7 p.m.

NE10 Women's Basketball Tournament Central

NE10 Women's Basketball Tournament History

NE10 Women's Basketball Quarterfinal Recap

Raymond was named to the All-NE10 first team this week and leads the Skyhawks in scoring and rebounds, posting her fourth double-double of the year in Sunday's quarterfinal win (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

EASTON, Mass. (March 4, 2020) – The Northeast Division Champion Stonehill College women's basketball program will have to go through the defending Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Champions Le Moyne College, the No. 2 seed from the Southwest Division, in the semifinal round of the 2020 NE10 Tournament on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Admission for Thursday night's game is $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children ages 12-18 and senior citizens (65+), and $1.00 for students from NE10 institutions with their college ID, with children under 12 admitted free. Stonehill students will be admitted free courtesy of the Stonehill Spirit Committee with their HillCard. SkyhawksVision coverage on NE10 NOW with Charlie Bergeron and Brian Buckley is available via portal.stretchinternet.com/stonehill/ with links for the game and live stats at stonehillskyhawks.com. In addition to watching online, NE10 NOW viewers will also be able to watch the action live on their televisions through Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.

Stonehill (21-5, 16-3 NE10), who moved back into both Division II national polls this week at No. 25 in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and D2SIDA Top 25, looks to make its 12th NE10 Championship appearance with a win over the defending champions on Thursday night, having last reached the title game in 2018. The Skyhawks, ranked No. 2 in the most recent NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, is the only program to compete in all 39 NE10 Women's Basketball Tournaments since the Conference began sponsoring the championship in 1982. The Skyhawks have won the NE10 Tournament Championship five times: 1983, '87, '95, '97 and 2008.

Le Moyne (19-8, 14-5 NE10) is in the NE10 Tournament for the 17th time, having reached the semifinals for the fourth-straight year. The Dolphins have reached the NE10 Championship game twice, claiming their first NE10 Championship with a 67-45 triumph over Bentley University in the 2019 title game in Syracuse. Le Moyne also reached the final in 2002, falling to American International College (65-50).

Stonehill reached the semifinals with a 61-52 victory over Northeast No. 5 Assumption College in Sunday's NE10 quarterfinal round at Merkert Gym. Sophomore Kayla Raymond, named to the All-NE10 first team on Monday, posted her fourth double-double of the season with a game-high 26 points, including 17 in the second half, on 10-of-21 shooting, with ten rebounds and two steals. Stonehill shot 46.2-percent (6-for-13) from the floor in the third quarter to turn a halftime deadlock (25-25) into an eight-point lead (43-35) heading to the fourth. Assumption trimmed its deficit to five (52-47) with 2:28 remaining, but Raymond sparked the Skyhawks to seal the win down the stretch with a three-pointer.

Reuter is a third team All-NE10 selection and ranks fifth in program history with 136 career blocks (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Le Moyne advanced with a 54-51 triumph over Northeast No. 3 Bentley University in their NE10 quarterfinal on Sunday in Syracuse, New York. Senior McKayla Roberts drained a three-pointer with 8.1-seconds remaining to pus the Dolphins in front for good as she finished with a game-high 24 points, including ten in the fourth quarter, with four rebounds and three assists. Le Moyne erased an eight-point deficit (45-37) a minute into the fourth quarter, capped by Roberts go-ahead three with under ten seconds left.

Thursday night marks the 36th meeting all-time between these two programs, the fourth in postseason play, all of which have come in the NE10 Tournament, including three over the last five years. Stonehill holds a 26-9 advantage in the all-time series dating back to the 1996-97 season, winning all three NE10 Tournament encounters, including a 58-55 triumph in the 2018 NE10 semifinals at Merkert. The Skyhawks have won four of the last six in the series, including a 61-55 decision in the regular season meeting between the two at Merkert on January 11.

Stonehill held Le Moyne off down the stretch to claim the regular season meeting between the two. Raymond led the Skyhawks with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting, seven rebounds and two assists, while Roberts tallied a team-high 20 points on 7-of-22 shooting, with eight assists, four rebounds and three steals. Stonehill rallied from a 12-point deficit late in the third quarter to claim a 58-55 triumph over Le Moyne in the 2018 NE10 semifinal. The Skyhawks senior triumvirate of All-Americans Kelly Martin, '18 and Samantha Hyslip, '18, along with Courtney Walsh, '18 combined for 41 of their team's 58 points, including 23 of 29 points in the second half to clinch the win. Nicole Riddick led four Dolphins in double figures with 15 points, six rebounds and four steals.

The winner of tomorrow's semifinal will advance to the NE10 Championship on Sunday at 1 p.m., to face the winner of tomorrow's other semifinal between Northeast No. 2 Saint Anselm College (20-6, 15-4 NE10) and Southwest top-seeded Adelphi University (27-2, 17-2 NE10).

Stonehill has won its last ten games and 14 of 15 since the New Year to surge to the top of the NE10 Northeast Division and NCAA regional rankings. Five-time NE10 Coach of the Year Trisha Brown led the Skyhawks to their third NE10 Northern Division title over the last six years, marking their tenth NE10 regular season championship overall. Stonehill has reached the 20-win mark for the third-straight year and 27th time in program history overall.

Shaw added a season-high matching 11 points for the Skyhawks on Sunday (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Stonehill is ranked third in the NE10 for scoring defense (56.5 ppg) and second for both field goal percentage defense (.363) and three-point percentage defense (.253), which ranks sixth in Division II, also ranking second in the Conference (8th nationally) for fewest fouls committed per game (13.5). The Skyhawks are sixth in the NE10 for scoring offense (66.1 ppg), eighth in field goal percentage (.404), fourth for three-point percentage (.323), fifth in turnovers per game (14.8), and third for assists per game (16.1).

Stonehill is led by the All-Conference interior duo of Raymond, a two-time All-NE10 performer after being voted to the first team this week, and senior Gabrielle Reuter, a third team All-NE10 honoree. Raymond is averaging a team-high 16.8 points (4th NE10) and 8.1 rebounds per game (7th), shooting 41.9-percent from the field, including 32.7% (34-for-104) from three-point distance, converting 84.2% (48-57) of her free-throws (7th), with 1.6 assists and 1.4 blocked shots (7th) in 25.8 minutes per game over 19 games after missing the first eight games of the year to injury. Reuter adds 9.8 points on 46.1-percent shooting (11th), with 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 blocks (8th) and 0.8 steals per game.

Seniors Grace Carter and Kelsey Shaw, who netted a season-high matching 11 points in Sunday's NE10 Quarterfinal, add leadership in the Stonehill starting lineup. Carter averages 9.0 points, converting 80.6% of her free-throws, with 2.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and team-high 1.5 steals per game, while Shaw contributes 5.2 points, canning 78.5% (51-65) of her free-throws, with 3.8 rebounds and team-high 3.1 assists per game.

Junior Madison Seymour is shooting a team-high 40.8-percent (31-76) from three-point distance (2nd NE10), chipping in 5.7 points and 2.3 rebounds, while sophomore Emily Bramanti provides a spark off the bench with 6.9 points on 46.5% shooting, 2.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

Le Moyne enters Thursday's semifinal winners of four straight and eight of nine after Sunday's quarterfinal win over Bentley. The Dolphins are second in the NE10 for scoring defense (55.5 ppg), ranking ninth in field goal percentage defense (.391), 12th for three-point percentage defense (.346), committing a Conference-low 13.5 personal fouls per game (7th nationally), ranking third in the NE10 for turnover margin (+2.5) and averaging a Conference-low 12.1 turnovers per game (8th). Le Moyne is fifth in the NE10 for scoring offense (67.3 ppg), fourth in field goal percentage (.435), shooting a league-best 37.2% from three-point range (16th nationally), and fourth in assists per game (16.0).

Roberts, a two-time All-NE10 first team selection and three-time All-Conference pick overall, leads three from Le Moyne scoring in double-figures. She averages 17.9 points (3rd NE10) on 42.6-percent shooting from the field, including 40% (84-for-210) from three-point distance (3rd), converting an NE10-best 90.7-percent (68-75) of her free-throws (5th nationally) to go with 3.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists (3rd NE10) and a steal in 35.9 minutes per game (2nd). She also leads the NE10 with 3.1 three-point field goals per game (17th nationally), while ranking fifth nationally in free-throw percentage and ninth in assists per game.

Junior Liz Millea, a third team All-NE10 selection, adds 13.9 points (13th NE10) on 41.6% shooting, including 37.6% (64-170) from three (9th), converting 83.3% (25-30) of her free-throws, with 2.1 assists and a steal per game. Sophomore Jenna Zimmerman rounds out the Dolphins in double-figures with 10.6 points and 7.9 rebounds (10th), shooting 45.5% from the floor, including 38.6% (39-101) from three (4th), and 80.4% (37-46) from the line, with 1.7 assists, 2.1 blocked shots (3rd) and a steal per game.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market. 

2020 Northeast-10 Conference
Women's Basketball Tournament

Friday, February 28
First Round
Game 1: NE#4 Southern New Hampshire 77, SW#5 American International 47
Game 2: NE#5 Assumption 59, SW#4 Pace 45

Sunday, March 1
Game 3: SW#1 Adelphi 81, NE#4 Southern New Hampshire 55
Game 4: NE#1 Stonehill 61, NE#5 Assumption 52
Game 5: SW#2 Le Moyne 54, NE#3 Bentley 51
Game 6: NE#2 Saint Anselm 55, SW#3 New Haven 44

Thursday, March 5
Semifinals (hosted by higher seeds)
Game 7:
NE#2 Saint Anselm (20-6, 15-4 NE10) at SW#1 Adelphi (27-2, 17-2 NE10), 7 p.m.
Game 8: SW#2 Le Moyne (19-8, 14-5 NE10) at NE#1 Stonehill (21-5, 16-3 NE10), 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 8
Championship (at highest remaining seed*)
Game 9:
  Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 1 p.m.

* - if same seed, site determined by conference record and then winner of regular-season matchup