WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College women's basketball team will look for a third straight trip to the New England Small College Athletic Conference Final Four when the Mules play host to Williams College in a league quarterfinal game Saturday at 3 p.m. at Wadsworth Gymnasium.
The Mules (18-6 overall), the fourth seed in the NESCAC playoffs, lost in the title game to Amherst College in 2010 and fell in a semifinal game to Bowdoin College last year. Colby went on to earn NCAA Division III Tournament bids in both seasons.
The game will have free admission to all and will be Webcast at: http://www.firstteambroadcasting.com/events/2012/02/18/womens-basketball-colby-vs-williams-nescac-playoffs/
Colby, which took a 62-56 win at Williams during the regular season, continues to get balanced play from its starters. Jil Vaughan, the Maine Division III Player of the Week for last week, leads the Mules in scoring (13.2), rebounding (8.8), field goal percentage (.566), and blocked shots (46 total). She had 15 points and eight rebounds in the first game against Williams.
Senior co-captain Rachael Mack led the way with 17 points and 11 rebounds for Colby in the win against the Ephs. She is first on the Mules in 3-point field goal percentage (.418), steals (36) and is second in scoring (13.0), rebounding (7.1), blocked shots (24), and free throw percentage (.884). Mack ranks seventh all-time at Colby in career scoring (1,219 points) and also has 782 rebounds, 148 assists, 122 steals, and 119 blocked shots.
Senior co-captain Aarika Ritchie is third on the Mules in scoring (9.9) and leads the team in total assists with 93. Ritchie has 339 career assists and needs seven more to reach 100 for this season. Meanwhile, junior guard Diana Manduca averages 8.8 points and is second in assists (82 total). Manduca has at least 35 steals or more in all three of her seasons. Junior guard Jacky McLaughlin averaged 6.2 points and has made 31 3-point shots.
The Mules are shooting a NESCAC-best .808 as a team from the foul line. Colby, which is 32-6 in home games over the past three seasons, has made 152 3-point shots and has held the opponent to just 71.
Williams (19-5 overall), the fifth seed, was 14-1 and in the national rankings when 6-foot-3 junior forward Claire Baecher went down with an injury and was lost for the season. She leads the Ephs in scoring (15.3), rebounding (7.5), and blocked shots (61). Williams has gone 5-4 (counting the game when Baecher was hurt) since the injury.
Jill Greenberg is averaging 12.2 points per game and leads the Ephs in assists (99) and steals (57). Grace Rehnquist comes off the bench and averages 10.2 points and leads Williams in made 3-point shots (45).
The Ephs were the fourth seed in last year's tourney and took a quarterfinal win over Tufts. Williams lost to Amherst by a fairly close 71-64 score in a NESCAC semifinal game.
2012 Women’s Basketball Championship
Saturday’s Quarterfinals – Saturday, February 18
No. 8 Trinity at No. 1 Amherst – 2:00 p.m.
No. 7 Connecticut College at No. 2 Tufts -- 2:00 p.m.
No. 6 Wesleyan at No. 3 Bowdoin -- 3:00 p.m.
No. 5 Williams at No. 4 Colby -- 3:00 p.m.
Semifinals – Saturday, February 25 at highest remaining seed (2:00 p.m./4:00 p.m.)
Highest remaining seed vs. Lowest remaining seed
Remaining quarterfinal winners
Championship – Sunday, February 26 at 12:00 p.m.
NOTE: If both the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals are being played at the same site, all semifinal games shall be played on Saturday (with one set of games at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. and the other at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.). Both championship games shall be played on Sunday (at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.). In even years the women’s games shall be played first with the men’s games played at the conclusion of the women’s games.