INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – No. 10 William Paterson (25-2, 12-1 NJAC) will host first- and second-round games of the 2010 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament Friday and Saturday, March 5-6, at the Rec Center.
The Pioneers will face Albertus Magnus (22-6), and DeSales (22-5) will take on MIT (22-4), in first-round contests the evening of March 5, with the winners advancing to play March 6 at 7:00 p.m. Friday’s game times will be 6:00 and 8:00 p.m., but it has not yet been determined which teams will play at which times.
William Paterson received an automatic bid the NCAA Tournament after winning the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Tournament with a 70-58 championship-game victory against visiting Richard Stockton (20-7) Feb. 27, earning the program’s 10th NJAC title. The Pioneers, ranked 10th in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll (Feb. 23), set a new school record with a 20-game win streak earlier this season (Nov. 24 – Feb. 13). William Paterson won the NJAC’s North Division regular-season title and was the top overall seed in the NJAC Tournament.
This marks William Paterson’s 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament (1975, 1977, 1980-81, 1983-85, 1997, 1999-2002, 2006, 2010), including trips to the 1999 Final Four and the 2001 national championship game. In addition, William Paterson has reached the Elite Eight three times and the Sweet Sixteen five times while posting an overall record of 22-14 in NCAA games. This marks the first time the Pioneers have hosted a NCAA Tournament game since the second round of the 2002 championship.
Led by Jose Rebimbas, the NJAC Coach of the Year who recorded his 300th career victory Feb. 24, the Pioneers returned 11 letterwinners and four starters this winter, a year after William Paterson was 20-7 overall and 8-5 in NJAC competition. The Pioneers finished second in the NJAC’s North Division and reached the semifinals of the 2009 NJAC Tournament.
A first-team all-NJAC selection, senior 6-1 guard Joseph Ellis (Newark, N.J./Newark Science) leads the Pioneers with 14.6 points per game (seventh in NJAC), adding 1.6 assists and 1.7 steals per contest. The 2010 NJAC Player of the Year as well as the 2008 and 2010 NJAC Defensive Player of the Year, 6-8 senior forward Abdoulaye Ouedraogo (Newark, N.J./Newark Science) is averaging 10.3 tallies and a team-best 7.3 rebounds (tied-sixth in league) and 2.1 blocked shots (second in conference, 32nd in Division III) per game.
Senior 6-3 guard Tim Lucas (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) is the team leader in steals (2.4 spg, second in conference) and assists (3.6 apg, fourth in NJAC) while chipping in 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest, and senior 6-2 guard Eric Moore (Dover, N.J./St. Benedict’s Prep) is adding 9.3 points per game. Senior 6-3 guard Bobby Dunn (Garwood, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson Regional) is posting 9.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists (seventh in conference) per contest.
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