Women's basketball misses out on NCAA tourney

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: February 27, 2012

WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College women’s basketball team did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament and ends the season at 19-7 overall.

The NCAA selection show was at 2:30 p.m. Monday, but only three teams from the New England Small College Athletic Conference were selected. Amherst College, the league champions, received an automatic bid to the tourney. Tufts University, the second seed in the tourney and the runner-up after losing in the league title game, also made the tourney along with Bowdoin College. The Polar Bears were the third seed in the conference tourney and had split with the Mules during the season, but Bowdoin had won the league contest.

At any division level, top seeds getting upset in league tournaments can always hurt teams on the bubble. A perfect example happened with University of New England, which was the top-seeded team in the Commonwealth Conference Tournament and was ranked second in New England. UNE had also taken a victory over the Mules earlier this season. The Nor'easters ended up getting upset in the semifinal round of their tourney to Endicott College. Salve Regina ended up with the automatic bid for winning the league title and UNE received an at-large bid Monday to the national tourney.

Colby made the NCAA tourney for the first time in program history two years ago and hosted an early round regional. The Mules beat Husson University in the first round and then fell to Babson College in the second round. Colby followed the same course last year, earning a win over Stevens in the opening round and then falling to William Paterson in the second round.

The collegiate careers of Colby seniors Rachael Mack, Kelly Potvin, Aarika Ritchie, and Jil Vaughan come to an end. The four helped the Mules to a 78-30 record and two trips to the national tourney over the past four years. Colby had a 31-66 record in the previous four years before their arrival.

Mack finished her career tied for fifth in career scoring at Colby with 1,241 points and added 802 rebounds, 156 assists, 125 steals, 122 blocks, shot nearly 52 percent from the field, and 85 percent from the foul line. Ritchie, who was a co-captain along with Mack, had 977 points, 342 assists, 297 rebounds, and 117 steals. Vaughan added 887 points, 630 rebounds, 110 assists, 108 blocks, and shot nearly 52 percent from the field. Potvin had 348 points and pulled down 265 rebounds. 

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