The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team was ranked #4 in the NCAA Division II East Regional poll released on Wednesday, February 14. That evening, the Lady Spartans kept the hot hand going with their 8th consecutive victory, an 80-62 decision over New York Institute of Technology at Aquinas Hall. The streak is actually the second longest of the season for the 23-3 squad, having opened the season by winning their first 10 straight. Their current 15-1 East Coast Conference mark places them in first place in the standings, with a showdown at LIU Post looming on Saturday afternoon.
Earlier this week, the Lady Spartans were ranked #3 in the East and #23 in the nation in the D2SIDA weekly poll, which has been held throughout the season. The NCAA poll, however, is used to determine the participants in the annual Division II Women's Basketball Championship. Eight teams in each of the eight regions comprise the 64-team field competing for the National Championship, with first round games starting the weekend of March 9th. The Lady spartans are seeking their second berth in program history, with their previous appearance coming in 2003.
In the East Region, the Tournament Champions of the ECC, Northeast-10 (NE-10), and Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) each earn an automatic bid to the NCAAs with the other five bids offered to the remaining top-ranked teams on an "at-large" basis. The current rankings have Stonehill College (NE-10, 21-2 record) in the top slot, University of the Sciences (CACC, 23-2) at No. 2, and Bentley College (NE-10, 21-3) in the No. 3 slot.
After Saturday's game at LIU Post (ranked #6 in the region), the Lady Spartans close out the regular-season by hosting the University of the District of Columbia on Saturday, February 24. They have already clinched a first round bye for the ECC Tournament, and will advance to the semi-finals held at Roberts Wesleyan College on Saturday, March 2 (time TBD). The winners of Saturdays semis advance to the tourney final the following day.
- St. Thomas Aquinas
- LIU Post
- Roberts Wesleyan
- Southern New Hampshire
- Southern Connecticut State