INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The No. 8/8 William Paterson women’s basketball team (25-2, 12-1 NJAC) will face Mary Washington (21-5) in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Division III Tournament Friday, March 5, at the University of Rochester at a time to be determined. In the other first-round contest, the Yellow Jackets (19-6) will take on SUNY Cortland (25-3). The winners will advance to play in the second round Saturday, March 6, at the U of R.
William Paterson received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after finishing as the runners-up in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Tournament with a hard-fought 70-62 final loss at No. 2/2 Kean (26-1) Feb. 27. The Pioneers, ranked eighth in the latest USA Today/ESPN/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and D3hoops.com Top 25 Polls (Feb. 23), won the NJAC’s North Division regular-season title and had wins streaks of 14 (Nov. 17 – Jan. 6) and 11 (Jan. 13 – Feb. 23) games this season.
This marks the Pioneers’ eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament (1993-95, 1997-98, 2007-08, 2010), as William Paterson advanced to the 1995 and 1998 Elite Eights while posting an overall record of 8-7 in NCAA games.
Led by Erin Monahan, the NJAC Coach of the Year who recorded her 300th career victory Nov. 20, the Pioneers returned all five starters from a team that was 19-8 overall and 10-3 in conference play a year ago, advancing to the semifinals of the 2009 NJAC Tournament.
The 2009 NJAC and the ECAC Metro Region Rookie of the Year as well as a member of the 2009-10 All-NJAC First Team, sophomore 5-4 guard BriAnna Lucas (Hamilton, N.J./Nottingham) leads the Pioneers with 16.0 points (third in NJAC) and 2.7 steals (fourth in conference) per game, adding 2.0 assists per contest while shooting 40.9 (47-115) percent from three-point range (third in league). Senior 5-4 guard Julie Haledjian (Montvale, N.J./Pascack Hills), a second-team all-NJAC pick this winter, is contributing 13.3 points and 4.2 assists (third in conference) per contest while leading the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.78, 29th in Division III).
Senior 5-7 guard Elisa Brown (Norwalk, Conn./Norwalk) is adding 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game, and senior 5-8 guard Erin Cook (Princeton, N.J./Princeton), an honorable-mention all-league selection last season, is posting 6.9 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds (fifth in NJAC) per contest.
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