The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team takes the #3 seed into Saturday's 2:30 pm contest vs. #3 Roberts Wesleyan College at the East Coast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament in Rochester, NY. The other women's semi pits #1 seed LIU Post against #4 NYIT, set for a noon tip-off. The winners advance to Sunday's final, which will start at noon, with the Tournament Champion earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Tournament.
The Match-up - The Lady Spartans (24-4, 16-2) swept the regular season series from Roberts Wesleyan (20-9, 13-5), prevailing by a 74-68 count at Voller Athletic Center on December 2, 2017, and claiming a 71-53 win at Aquinas Hall on February 4. In the first meeting, Jenna Erickson led the way with 23 points with Alex Bertolino adding 16, offsetting Kyla Covington's 19 for the Redhawks. In the rematch, Erickson exploded for 32 points while Adiya Henderson added 13 points and 13 rebounds. Lucy Covley paced RWC with 18.
How They Got Here - Roberts Wesleyan hosted Wednesday night's first round contest, emerging with a 76-64 victory over #6 Daemen. Emily Miller had 17 points and a dominant 18 caroms as the hosts jumped to an early lead, and held on for the decision. STAC earned the #2 seed in the regular season standings, and along with it a first-round bye into Saturday's semis, marking the fourth straight tourney appearance and third trip to the semis in four seasons for the Lady Spartans.
Previous Meetings - These teams have had one previous meeting in the East Coast Conference Tourament, on March 4, 2015. In that game, STAC traveled to Voller Athletic Center as the #6 seed to take on the #3 Redhawks and pulling the 69-58 upset. Four Lady Spartans scored in double-figures to cap the victory in that contest.
What's Next? - The other women's semi pits #1 seed LIU Post against #4 NYIT, set for a noon tip-off. The winners advance to Sunday's final, which will start at noon, with the Tournament Champion earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Tournament.
NCAA Bound? - St. Thomas Aquinas is in search of its first trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament since the 2003 season. The ECC Tournament Champion receives an automatic berth to the NCAAs, and the Lady Spartans' current #4 regional ranking leaves them in excellent position for an at-large bid should they not take the title. Location, dates and pairings for the NCAA Tournament are to be determined on Sunday night.