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Contact: William Sodoma
Date: March 4, 2010
WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College women's basketball team heads into the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time Friday against a first round/second round field of three conference champions.
Colby, ranked 20th nationally, will play against North Atlantic Conference (NAC) champion Husson University at 7 p.m. Friday at Wadsworth Gymnasium. The first game pits the New England Men's and Women's Athletic Conference (NESMAC) champion Babson College against the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) champion Emmanuel College at 5 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for students (children under 2 free). Colby students, thanks to the support of President William Adams, can get into the games this weekend free with Colby identification. The two winners Friday meet in the second round Saturday at 7 p.m.
All three games will now be webcast this weekend (Saturday's link will be made after Friday's games). The link for the Colby/Husson game is http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ncaa-div-3-women-s-basketball-husson-vs-colby and the Babson/Emmanuel link is http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ncaa-div-3-women-s-basketball-emmanuel-vs-babson
Colby radio station will be covering the Mules' Friday game and Saturday game (if they advance) at http://www.wmhb.org/index.php and there will be live stats at http://livestats.prestosports.com/colby/ All three games in the first and second round will have audio from d3hoops.com at
Colby senior Alison Cappelloni helped turn the Mules' program around from 6-17 in her first season to 23-4 this year and an appearance in the New England Small College Athletic Conference title game. The lone four-year player on the Mules, Cappelloni was named a NESCAC First Team selection on Wednesday after averaging a team-best 12.4 points and shooting a league-best 46 percent (59-for-128) from 3-point range. She has 1,203 career points and ranks sixth all-time in scoring at Colby.
The Mules need one more win to hold the program record for wins in a season all by themselves. The 2009-10 team currently is tied with the 1981-82 and the 1983-84 teams with 23 wins. Colby is 12-2 at home this season and 22-5 over the past two years at Wadsworth Gymnasium.
Rachael Mack, who missed the NESCAC title game because of illness, ranks second on Colby in scoring (12.4) and rebounding (6.7). She is first in field goal percentage (.507) and blocked shots (36 total). Samantha Allen, Colby's other senior, averages 8.9 points and has nailed 49 3-point shots this year. Aarika Ritchie and Julianne Kowalski both average 8.7 points, with Ritchie leading the team in assists (102 total) and Kowalski showing the way in rebounding (7.7). Meanwhile, first-year player Diana Manduca is at 8.2 points a contest and leads the Mules in steals (39) and free throw shooting (.866, 71-for-82).
Husson fell 88-58 to Colby at Wadsworth Gymnasium during the regular season, but the Eagles have not lost a game since. Husson (19-8) was 3-8 after losing to the Mules and have won 16 straight games since January 9.
Eagle senior forward Shelby Bradford, who had 21 points in the first game against Colby, leads the team in scoring (16.5), rebounding (11.6), and field goal percentage (.516). Brianna Hanscom averages 14 points and seven rebounds per game for Husson, while Bethany Sevey hits for 10.4 points per contest.
Husson played a difficult schedule at the start of the season, falling also to Bowdoin (79-58), Kean (82-49), University of New England (73-62), Bates (77-68), and Cortland (72-58). The Eagles also played NCAA participant University of Southern Maine and lost a tough 79-74 battle in overtime.
Amazingly, Husson will not have the longest win streak heading into the weekend. Babson (25-3) has won 17 straight games after last falling to Eastern Connecticut back on January 4. The Beavers went 18-0 in conference play and won the NEWMAC title with a victory over WPI last weekend.
Sophomore 6-foot-1 forward/center Nicole Wurdeman leads Babson in scoring (14.3), field goal percentage (.575), and is second in rebounding (7.2). Kathleen King, a 6-foot sophomore forward, is second in scoring (12.5) and first in rebounding, while first-year 6-1 forward/center Sarah Collins averages 10.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and has a team-best 57 blocked shots. Allanah Wynn leads the way in total assists (72) and averages 6.4 points and teammate Becky Bowman is at 8.9 points.
Emmanuel (22-5) is making its 15th appearance in the NCAA tourney and went to the national final four in 2001. The Saints have a 61-53 win over Bowdoin College this year, a 57-51 loss to Tufts University, and an 85-38 loss at Amherst College.
Iman Davis, a senior guard, leads the Saints in scoring (13.8), rebounding (7.3), and steals (72). Junior guard Kristin LeBel is second in scoring (13.7) and is just 12 points shy of reaching 1,000 for her career. Casey Shevlin (7.2 ppg) and Breanna Ockimey (7.1 ppg) are other leading scorers. Shevlin leads the Saints in assists with 107.