Northeast Division Champion Skyhawks host Northeast No. 2 Saint Anselm for NE10 Championship Sunday at 1 p.m.
Reuter led the Skyhawks past Le Moyne in the semifinals on Thursday and earned All-NE10 third team honors this week (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)
EASTON, Mass. (March 7, 2020) – The Northeast Division Champion Stonehill College women's basketball program takes aim at its first Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Championship in 12 years when it battles Northeast Division No. 2 Saint Anselm College in the 2020 NE10 Championship Game on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Admission for Sunday's Championship game is $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children ages 6-18 and senior citizens (65+), and $1.00 for students from NE10 institutions with their college ID, with children under 6 admitted free. Stonehill students will be admitted free courtesy of the Stonehill Spirit Committee with their HillCard. NE10 NOW coverage, produced by Pack Network, is available via portal.stretchinternet.com/stonehill/. Steve Zerdelian and Brian Buckley will have the call of the action on Sunday, 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 (22-5, 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, has reached the NE10 Championship game for the 12th time, with its second appearance in three seasons. The Skyhawks, ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, for the third-straight week, are the only program to compete in all 39 NE10 Women's Basketball Tournaments since the Conference began sponsoring the championship in 1982. The Skyhawks seek their sixth NE10 Tournament title, having last won the crown in 2008 with a 90-79 victory over Bryant University at Merkert Gym, to go along with championships in 1983, '87, '95 and '97.
Saint Anselm (21-6, 15-4 NE10), ranked No. 4 in this week's NCAA East Regional rankings, is making its seventh trip to the NE10 Championship game, having last played for the title in 1999 when it fell to Bentley University, 63-53. The Hawks are in the NE10 Tournament for the 30th time, winning its lone title with an 81-76 victory over Bentley in 1991. While both teams are locks to earn NCAA Tournament bids during the selection show Sunday night, the winner of Sunday's final will earn the NE10's automatic bid.
Raymond, one of three All-NE10 first team selections playing in Sunday's championship, is averaging 18,5 points and eight rebounds per game through the Skyhawks first two NE10 Tournament wins (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Stonehill reached the final with home wins over Northeast No. 5 Assumption College (61-52) in the quarterfinals on Sunday, before topping Southwest No. 2 and defending tournament champions Le Moyne College (55-53) on Thursday night. Senior Gabrielle Reuter led the Skyhawks to the semifinal win over Le Moyne with 16 points, including 12 in the second half, with six rebounds (five offensive), five assists and three blocked shots. Sophomore Kayla Raymond led Stonehill past Assumption in the quarterfinals with her fourth double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 26 points, including 17 in the second half, with ten rebounds and two steals.
Raymond is averaging 18.5 points on 46.9-percent shooting with 8.0 rebounds and a steal per game through Stonehill's first two NE10 Tournament games, while Reuter is adding 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 blocks per game so far in the postseason.
Saint Anselm opened the NE10 Tournament with a 55-44 quarterfinal win over Southwest No. 3 University of New Haven in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Sunday as junior Peyton Steinman led the way with 20 points, four rebounds and four steals. Senior Shannon Ryan led the Hawks to a 70-59 semifinal win at Southwest No. 1 Adelphi University on Thursday with 35 points and 19 rebounds. Ryan is averaging 25 points and 18 rebounds through the Hawks first two NE10 Tournament games on 51.2-percent shooting, with two assists and two blocked shots per game. Steinman has contributed 19 points on 44.8% shooting, with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot per game.
Stonehill and Saint Anselm meet in the NE10 Championship for the third time on Sunday. Stonehill won the first two NE10 Championship encounters, winning its first title with a 58-54 triumph and then capturing its third championship with an 82-69 victory in 1995. Sunday marks the 92nd meeting all-time between the two programs overall, the 14th in postseason play and 10th in the NE10 Tournament. Stonehill holds a 64-27 advantage in the all-time series after the two split the regular season series between the two, with each winning on the other team's home court. The Hawks posted a 76-63 victory at Merkert Gym on December 7, before the Skyhawks registered a 66-63 decision in Manchester, New Hampshire, on February 8 in its charge to the top of the Northeast Division standings.
Stonehill holds a 10-3 advantage over Saint Anselm in postseason play, including 7-2 in the NE10 Tournament with its two championship game wins. The team's last met in the NE10 Tournament in 1997, with Stonehill notching a 67-64 win in the semifinal round. Saint Anselm, which posted a 59-50 victory in the NCAA East Regional semifinals in Philadelphia last March on its way to the Elite Eight, last defeated Stonehill in the NE10 Tournament with a 62-49 consolation game win in 1989.
Carter expects to make her second career NE10 Championship game start on Sunday (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Ryan and freshman Macy Spinks combined for 46 points to lead Saint Anselm to its December 7 win over Stonehill. Ryan posted a double-double with game-highs of 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Spinks netted 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, with four assists and two boards. Raymond led the Skyhawks to their February 8 win in Manchester with a season-high 30 points, including 13 of her 16 first half points in the first quarter alone, adding six rebounds, an assist and blocked shot. Ryan averaged 23 points and 16 rebounds per game in the two games against Stonehill this season.
Stonehill enters Sunday's championship riding a season-long 11 game win streak, having won 15 of its 16 games since the New Year to surge to the top of the NE10 Northeast Division. 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, boasting the longest current win streak in the NE10 and second longest in the region behind only University of the Sciences, who has won 20 in a row.
Stonehill is ranked third in the NE10 (21st nationally) for scoring defense (56.4 ppg) and second for both field goal percentage defense (.363) and three-point percentage defense (.256), which ranks ninth in Division II, also ranking second in the Conference (7th nationally) for fewest fouls committed per game (13.5). The Skyhawks are sixth in the NE10 for scoring offense (65.7 ppg), eighth in field goal percentage (.403), sixth for three-point percentage (.319), fifth in turnovers per game (14.6), 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 Reuter, a third team All-NE10 honoree. Raymond is averaging a team-high 16.6 points (4th NE10) and 8.0 rebounds per game (7th), shooting 42-percent from the field, including 32.4% (35-for-108) from three-point distance, converting 84.2% (48-57) of her free-throws (7th), with 1.5 assists and 1.4 blocked shots (7th) in 25.6 minutes per game over 20 games after missing the first eight games of the year to injury. Reuter adds 10.0 points on 46.2-percent shooting (11th), with 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 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 win over Assumption, add valuable leadership in the Stonehill starting lineup. Carter averages 8.7 points, converting 80.6% of her free-throws, with 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and team-high 1.6 steals per game, while Shaw contributes 5.2 points, canning 79.1% (53-67) of her free-throws, with 3.8 rebounds and team-high 3.0 assists per game.
Shaw also appeared in the 2018 NE10 title game with Reuter and Carter, and chipped in 11 points in the Skyhawks NE10 Quarterfinal win this week (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)
Junior Madison Seymour is shooting a team-high 40.5-percent (32-79) from three-point distance (2nd NE10), chipping in 5.6 points and 2.3 rebounds, while sophomore Emily Bramanti provides a spark off the bench with 6.9 points on 45.6% shooting, 2.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
Saint Anselm heads into the NE10 Championship on Sunday with five straight wins, ranking second in the NE10 for scoring offense (73.6 ppg), field goal percentage offense (.438), assists per game (16.3) and blocks per game (4.5). The Hawks lead the NE10 (9th nationally) for rebound margin (+10.2/gm), ranking ninth nationally, rebounds per game (44.3) and defensive rebounds per game (30.7), ranking tenth in Division II, and third in the NE10 for offensive rebounds (13.6/gm). Saint Anselm is eighth in the Conference for scoring defense (61.9), ranking third for field goal percentage defense (.368) and tenth for three-point percentage defense (.327).
Saint Anselm is led by a pair of All-NE10 first team selections in NE10 Player of the Year Ryan and Steinman, the top two scorers in the NE10 who have combined to account for 58-percent of the Hawks scoring this season. Ryan averages a double-double with an NE10-leading 23.0 points and 15.0 rebounds per game, ranking third nationally among Division II rebound leaders and seventh in scoring. She shoots 53.8-percent from the field (4th NE10) and adds 2.2 blocks (2nd) and 1.3 assists. Steinman adds 19.7 points (2nd) on 49.6-percent shooting (8th), including 34.9% (45-for-129) from three-point distance, connecting on 80.1% (137-171) of her free-throws (11th), with 7.9 rebounds (10th), 3.7 assists (7th) and 1.8 steals per game (7th).
Junior Grace Guachione follows with 8.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists (9th) and 2.0 steals per game (4th), while Spinks, an NE10 All-Rookie team pick, chips in 6.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
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
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 70, SW#1 Adelphi 59
Game 8: NE#1 Stonehill 55, SW#2 Le Moyne, 53
Sunday, March 8
Championship (at highest remaining seed*)
Game 9: NE#2 Saint Anselm (21-6, 15-4 NE10) at NE#1 Stonehill (22-5, 16-3 NE10), 1 p.m.
* - if same seed, site determined by conference record and then winner of regular-season matchup