Women's basketball ready for NCAA opener

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: March 3, 2011
Athletics Preview Photos

Diana Manduca

WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College women's basketball team knows what it's like to play in the NCAA Division III Tournament after nearly making the Sweet 16 last year in their first-ever appearance in the tourney. The Mules, though, will get their first taste of the tournament on the road this year.

The Mules will open play Friday at 5 p.m. in the first round of the tourney against Empire 8 Conference champion Stevens Institute of Technology at William Paterson University. The host school takes on Keuka College in the other game at 7 p.m. The winners of the two games will meet Saturday at 6 p.m. in the second round. All three games will have live statistics (no Webcast) at: http://www.sidearmstats.com/wpunj/wbball/index.htm

FULL NCAA BRACKET: http://www.ncaa.com/sites/default/files/files/2011DIIIwbbbracket.pdf

Friday's game will feature two first-year head coaches in Colby's Christine Clancy and Bri Fecteau of Stevens. Clancy, who was an assistant for the Mules for two years, has led Colby to a 21-5 record despite losing two key seniors from last year in Alison Cappelloni and Samantha Allen. Fecteau's leadership has Stevens at 21-6 overall and the Ducks won the Empire 8 title with an upset win over top-seeded Ithaca College.

Colby senior tri-captain Jules Kowalski just earned New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) First Team All-Conference honors. She ranks sixth in the NESCAC in scoring (12.2), third in rebounding (7.9), third in field goal percentage (.523), seven in blocked shots (1.12), and eighth in free throw percentage (.765). She ranks 13th all-time in scoring at Colby with 1,039 points and also has 744 rebounds.

Junior forward Rachael Mack made the All-NESCAC second team and is fourth in the league in scoring (12.5), first in free throw percentage (.853), second in rebounding (8.0), and fourth in field goal percentage (.518). In just her third season, Mack already has 884 points and 590 rebounds.

Colby tri-captain Aarika Ritchie is third in scoring (10.3) and second in assists (75 total), Diana Manduca leads the way in assists (95) and averages 9.4 points, Jil Vaughan is at 9.4 points and 5.5 rebounds, and Jacky McLaughlin leads the NESCAC in 3-point field goal percentage (.455, 30-for-66).

Colby ranks first in the NESCAC in free throw percentage (.774), field goal percentage (.452), and rebounding margin (9.7). The Mules are third nationally in free throw percentage, 10th in field goal percentage, and 15th in rebounding margin.

Stevens and Colby both have just 11 players on the roster, with six of the Ducks' players standing 5-foot-10 or taller. Stevens is averaging 44.7 rebounds a game and holds the opponent to just 31.9.

Junior 5-10 forward Jillian Barrett leads the Ducks in scoring (11.7) and rebounding (8.1), while junior 5-10 guard/forward Victoria Webber averages 11.1 points and 5.0 rebounds. Junior guard Dawn Garcia makes Stevens go and leads the team in assists (97 total), steals (54 total), is third in scoring (8.7), and averages 4.1 rebounds. Senior 5-10 forward Paige Armstrong averages 6.9 points and 7.2 rebounds.

William Paterson (24-3), the New Jersey Athletic Conference champions, are a two-woman show. Junior guard BriAnna Lucas leads the Pioneers in scoring (18.7), assists (4.1 per game), and steals (74 total). Junior 5-9 forward April Smith is second in scoring (18.4) and leads the team in rebounding (11.1). No other player on the squad averages better than 6.9 points per game.

Keuka (24-2), the North Eastern Athletic Conference champions, are the extreme from William Paterson --- no player on the roster is even averaging double figures in scoring. Brittany Schrock leads the way in scoring (9.7) and assists (63). Maria Mouzon (9.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg) and Jessica Bandrowski (9.0 ppg) are other leading scorers.

Related Links: