Patriot League Women's Basketball Postseason Preview

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Army's Aimee Oertner
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Army's Aimee Oertner
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
March 21, 2014

2014 NCAA Women's Bracket Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Patriot League tournament champion Army received the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and will begin play as the 13th seed in the Louisville Region. The Black Knights will play fourth seeded Maryland at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday in College Park, Md.

Patriot League Women's Basketball Postseason Preview Get Acrobat Reader

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @Pl_wbb
*Army received an automatic bid into the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament by winning the Patriot League title.
*The Black Knights received a No. 13 seed and will play Maryland, a fourth seed, on Sunday in College Park, Md.
*The game will be carried live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN beginning at 12:30 p.m.
*Army is making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Black Knights lost in the first round in 2006.
*Maryland is making its 21st appearance in the NCAA Tournament and has a record of 33-20 all-time.
*Holy Cross beat Maryland 81-74 in the 1991 NCAA Tournament and the Terps beat Navy 59-44 in the 2012 first round.
*Army Soph. Kelsey Minato is 5th in the nation in FT% at 92.7. She has not missed a free throw during March (26-for-26).
*Army brings a 7-game winning streak in to the NCAA Tournament. They also had a 7-game streak from 11/14-12/7.
*A record four Patriot League teams made the postseason: Army (NCAA), American (WNIT), Navy (WNIT) & Bucknell (WBI).
*Bucknell lost at Maine 77-47 in the first round of the Women's Basketball Invitational on Wednesday night.
*In the WNIT on Thursday, Navy lost to Old Dominion 68-60 and American suffered a 63-60 setback at Seton Hall.
*Maryland's Alyssa Thomas is a 3-time ACC Player of the Year and needs 12 points to become the Terps all-time scorer.

Patriot League Notebook

Four Patriot League Teams in the Postseason
For the first time in Patriot League history, four teams will participate in postseason play. As the Patriot League champion, Army received the automatic bid in to the NCAA Tournament and will begin play as the 13th seed in the Louisville Region. The Black Knights will play fourth seeded Maryland at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday in College Park, Md. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and also available on a live stream on ESPN3. Bucknell lost at Maine 77-47 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI). On Thursday, Navy lost at Old Dominion by a score of 68-60 in the first round of the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). The same night, American lost a 63-60 heartbreaker at Seton Hall in the opening round of the WNIT. The previous record for teams playing in the postseason was three in 2012 when Navy (NCAA), American (WNIT) and Holy Cross (WBI) all competed beyond the Patriot League Tournament. This is the first time that two Patriot League teams made the WNIT field.

Army Wins 2014 Patriot League Championship
After finishing the Patriot League season in a tie for second place with American, Army rode a No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament to the 2014 title with home postseason wins over Boston University (49-45), American (68-55) and Holy Cross (68-58). Tournament MVP Kelsey Minato averaged 23.7 points over the three games -- including a perfect 22-for-22 from the free throw line. Senior forward Jen Hazlett averaged 12.3 points and 8.7 rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament team. The championship was the first for the Black Knights since defeating Holy Cross in 2006 to earn the program's only other NCAA Division 1 tournament berth. This marks Army's third postseason appearance as a member of the Patriot League, having lost to Tennessee in the NCAA first round in 2006 and Fordham in the opening round of the 2013 Women's National Invitational Tournament.

Patriot League History in the NCAA Tournament
Patriot League squad are a combined 1-21 in the NCAA Tournament with Holy Cross picking up the only victory in the opening round of the 1991 by defeating No. 6 Maryland 81-74 in Worcester, Mass. The No. 11 Crusaders would lose to No. 3 Auburn in the second round by a score of 84-58. Patriot League History in the WNIT American and Navy came up short in their attempts Thursday to become the first-ever Patriot League team to win a game in the Women's National Invitation Tournament. The Eagles lost 63-60 at Seton Hall and the Mids fell 68-60 to Old Dominion. The Patriot League is 0-10 in WNIT appearances by American (5), Army, Bucknell, Holy Cross, Lehigh and Navy. The Eagles have come heartbreakingly close to pulling out victories losing 53-52 to Villanova and 61-59 to James Madison in back-to-back years (2008-09).

Four Patriot League Teams Post 20-win Seasons
With Holy Cross' win over Navy in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals, four teams cracked the 20-win barrier marking the first time that more than three programs had reached this mark. Army (25-7), Navy (24-7), American (22-9) and Holy Cross (20-12). WBI-bound Bucknell (16-14) also finished over .500 and the Patriot League finished the season as 11th ranked conference in the RPI ratings.

Second Appearance in the WBI
Bucknell made the second appearance by a Patriot League team in the five-year history of the Women's Basketball Invitational. Holy Cross went 1-1 while competing in 2012, defeating New Hampshire 63-59 in the first round before falling to Manhattan 78-63 in the second round. The WBI is a 16-team tournament that is split into two regions. The Bison lost 77-47 at Maine Wednesday night in the first round of the 2014 WBI tournament.

Unfamiliar Foes
Only American, who faced Seton Hall in the 2005 Florida International Tournament, has ever met their postseason opponent in an NCAA women's basketball game. The Army-Maryland matchup in the NCAA, the Navy-Old Dominion meeting in the WNIT and the Bucknell-Maine contest in the WBI will all be the first in the series between the schools involved.

Beating Maryland in the NCAA Tournament? It's Been Done Before!
The #13 seed Army team will have an uphill battle against a #4 Maryland that counts NCAA heavyweights Connecticut and Notre Dame as three of its six losses. In 2001, #11 Holy Cross knocked off the #6 Terps in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Maryland also played a Patriot League team in the NCAA first round in 2012, as the #2 Terps defeated #15 Navy 59-45 in College Park, Md.

Four Opponents From Four Different Conferences
The opponents for Patriot League teams come from four different conferences: America East (Maine), Atlantic Coast Conference (Maryland), Big East (Seton Hall) and Conference USA (Old Dominion). During the 2013-14 season, Patriot League teams were 9-4 against America East teams, 1-6 versus the ACC, 0-2 against the BIg East and 1-2 versus Conference USA foes. Maryland beat Patriot League member Loyola (Md.) 89-56 earlier this season and Old Dominion defeated Boston University 62-56.

Looking for Firsts
Army is seeking its first postseason win in the Division I postseason. The Black Knights did win NCAA Tournament games in 1984 and 1988 while competing in Division II. American, Bucknell and Navy are also looking for their first postseason victory. Holy Cross owns both of the Patriot League wins in the postseason to date with victories in the 1991 NCAA Tournament and 2012 WBI. The Patriot League is also looking for its first-ever win in the Women's National Invitational Tournament having compiled an 0-10 record since its first appearance in 2002.

Magarity A Rarity
Army head coach Dave Magarity will join an exclusive club on Sunday when he coaches the Black Knights in the NCAA Tournament. He will join Bill Morris as the only coach to take both a men's and women's squad to a NCAA Tournament game. Magarity coached Marist into the men's tournament field in 1988. Morris guided both the LaSalle men's and women's teams into the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - First Round

No. 13 Army Black Knights (25-7, 14-4) at No. 4 Maryland Terrapins (24-6, 12-4)
College Park, Md.; Comcast Center Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
*This is Army's 2nd berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Black Knights also went to the Div. II postseason in 1984 & 1988.
*Army sophomore guard Kelsey Minato is 18th nationally in scoring (21.8 ppg) and 5th in FT% (92.7)
*As a team, Army ranks 12th in three-point field goal percentage (37.4) and 21st in scoring defense (58.0 ppg).

ARMY Patriot League regular season and tournament MVP Kelsey Minato continued her season long torture of Holy Cross by scoring 31 points to lead the Black Knights to a 68-58 win over the Crusaders in the Patriot League Championship game on March 15 at Christl Arena in West Point, N.Y. The sophomore guard from Huntington Beach, Calif. scored 103 points in three games against Holy Cross during the 2013-14 season. Senior forward Jen Hazlett averaged 12.3 points and 8.7 rebounds during the Patriot League Tournament and was named to the All-Tournament squad... Holy Cross seniors Brisje Malone and Alex Smith led Holy Cross with 16 points apiece and sophomore Raquel Scott registered 15 points and 15 rebounds. Malone and Scott were also named to the All-Tournament team... Army head coach Dave Magarity becomes only the second coach in NCAA history to take both a men's and women's basketball team to the NCAA Tournament. Magarity guided the Marist men's squad into the NCAA field in 1988.

Postseason Team Notebooks

AMERICAN The American University women's basketball team couldn't complete a comeback on Thursday night in South Orange, N.J., as it fell to Seton Hall, 63-60, in the first round of the WNIT. Alexis Dobbs led the team with 24 points, one shy off her career mark, and went 6-for-11 from beyond the arc. Jen Dumiak scored 18 points for the Eagles with a team-high six boards. Shaquilla Curtis and Dumiak dished out four assists apiece... Dumiak helped the Eagles get off to a quick start by hitting a three-point field goal and two more jump shots for a 7-0 lead, but the Pirates responded with a 12-0 run to take the lead. The two teams traded baskets for much of the remainder of the first half with Seton Hall taking a 30-27 advantage in to the locker room. The teams fell in to the same pattern in the second half with American cutting into a Pirates lead, but never overtaking them... Bra'Shey Ali led Seton Hall with 18 points and 20 rebounds and Tabatha Richardson-Smith and Ka-Deidre Simmons also finished in double-figures with 14 points apiece. The Eagles finish the year with an overall record of 22-10 after earning its first at-large postseason berth in program history.

BUCKNELL The Bucknell women's basketball team concluded its 2013-14 campaign on Wednesday night, dropping a 77-47 decision to the University of Maine - Orono in the first round of the Women's Basketball Invitational. The Bison, who returned to the postseason for the first time since 2008, finished their season with a 16-14 overall record... Senior Shelby Romine, the program's fifth all-time leading scorer, led the Bison in scoring for one final time, tallying 15 points to bring her career total to 1,543. Junior Audrey Dotson contributed 14 points to Bucknell's offense, and both Dotson and freshman Sune Swart had six boards, leading the Bison on the glass.

NAVY Shae Kelley scored 16 of her 22 points in the second half to help Old Dominion hold off the Navy women's basketball team, 68-60, Thursday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., in a WNIT first-round game. Four Mids scored in double figures with Audrey Bauer leading the way with 17 points. Jade Geif scored 12 points while grabbing eight rebounds and Alix Membreno tallied 14 points, six rebounds and eight assists... The Monarchs closed the first half on a 14-4 run to take a 39-30 lead into intermission. Navy chipped away over the first eight minutes of the second half and grabbed a 51-48 advantage with 11 minutes remaining. Old Dominion then made a concerted effort to get the ball inside to Kelly and she scored the Monarchs next 12 points to give ODU a 60-53 lead. Chloe Stapleton hit a three-point field goal on the ensuing possession, but the Mids could get no closer than four points the rest of the way... The loss brings Navy's 2013-14 season to a close. The Mids posted a school record 24 wins (in 32 games) this year and won the first outright Patriot League regular season title in program history with a 15-3 mark in league games.