Though the women had been widely expected to land a spot in the tournament field you can never quite be sure what the selection committee will do outside of the top few seeds. As a result there were a few sighs of relief when the women learned that their 20-11 record was more than enough to land an NCAA Tournament bid.
The draw sees the Lady 'Dores as an eight seed taking on ninth seeded St. Joseph's out of the Atlantic 10 in Storrs. This is part of the Bridgeport regional and a win over the Hawks would more than likely set up a shot against one of the true powerhouse teams in the nation, and the regions number one seed, UConn. That is jumping ahead though and the Black and Gold cannot afford to look past a St. Joe's team which won the A10 title and was red hot to end the season.
One of the challenges for both teams in this draw will be the 10 am CST tip time in Storrs on Saturday. Though scheduling conflicts with the men's tourney and a battle for TV time dictate that the games tip off at strange times those morning games are always a challenge and it will be interesting to see if there is a change in practice habits to get the girls ready to go so early in the day.
These 8/9 seed games are always a pick 'em and this should be no different. A quick look at what St. Joe's have done this year shows that they are more than capable of springing the mild upset if Vandy doesn't come to play. The Hawks fit the ideal profile of an NCAA Tournament team as they are just as solid on the road as they are at home (ten wins in each type of venue) and they are 3-1 on neutral courts. Though they have won games with big scores throughout the year the Hawks proved that they can win ugly with a 47-46 victory over Fordham to take the A10 crown.
With first Team All-SEC forward Tiffany Clarke leading the way, however, the women should have too much for the Hawks and keep their season going for at least one more game.
First five listed started most recent game
|F||Ashley Robinson||6-2||Jr.||5.1||4.1||16 blocks|
|F||Chatilla van Grinven||6-3||RS Sr.||14.9||10.5||47 blocks|
|G||Erin Shields||5-6||Jr.||11.6||1.8||78 assists, 37% 3-pt, 92% FT|
|G||Natasha Cloud||6-0||RS So.||9.1||4.7||136 assists 55 steals|
|G||Ashley Prim||5-7||Sr.||7.7||4.3||93 assistsb 34% 3-pt.|
|F||Ilze Gotfrida||6-0||Jr.||7.5||4.2||33% 3-pt.|
|F||Kelsey Berger||5-11||RS Jr.||3.6||1.2||35% 3-pt.|
|F||Mireia Vila||6-0||Sr.||2.8||2.0||32% 3-pt.|