PREVIEW: Women's basketball to battle Adelphi in NE10 Quarterfinals

MANCHESTER, N.H. – For the fourth consecutive season, the Saint Anselm College women's basketball has qualified for the Northeast-10 Conference postseason and will take on Adelphi at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Mar. 3 in the league's quarterfinal round in Garden City, N.Y.

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Saint Anselm (18-8, 13-8 NE10) finished third in the Northeast Division and will travel to the second seed in the Southwest Division, Adelphi (15-12, 12-8 NE10), in the NE10 Quarterfinals. The Hawks are making their 29th appearance in NE10 postseason play, the fourth-most by any league school since the dawn of the conference in 1981.

Adelphi surged into second place in the Southwest Division by winning six-straight games to close the regular season, sparked by a 72-60 win over nationally-ranked Le Moyne on Feb. 6. Prior to that strong stretch of play, the Panthers had lost six of their last seven games, including a 75-72 loss to Saint Anselm at home on Jan. 12.

TICKET INFORMATION: Adults will be charged $8 with children and senior citizen tickets for $5. Students with a valid ID from an NE10 program will be admitted for $1.

LAST TIME OUT: Needing a victory to secure a home game in the NE10 Quarterfinals, Saint Anselm posted a 60-48 loss to Stonehill in the regular season finale. 

Ahead by four points heading into the fourth quarter, the Hawks yielded the fourth quarter's first 13 points as Stonehill built a 52-41 lead. In that span, Saint Anselm missed 10 straight shots and two free throws before Steinman had a jumper in the paint with 2:22 left. In total, Stonehill dominated the play with a 17-0 scoring run that toppled the Hawks late in the contest.

Sophomore Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) led all Hawks scorers with 17 points. Junior Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) scored 16 points and added 15 rebounds in the loss with sophomore Grace Guachione (Pittsfield, Mass.) tallying six points off the bench.

SCOUTING SAINT ANSELM: 

  • The top rebounding team in the Northeast-10, Saint Anselm fired off 18 victories during the regular season to place seventh in the recently-released NCAA Division II East Region rankings. The Hawks also limit their opponents to only a 35.1% field goal percentage against, the best defense in the NE10.
  • Saint Anselm allows its opponents to shoot only 25.5% from beyond the arc, ranking first in the NE10 and third among all NCAA Division II institutions. The Hawks also rank eighth in overall rebounds per game (45.35) in the nation and 11th in rebound margin (9.4).
  • The Hawks ran off nine consecutive road victories to begin the season before losing their last three games on the road. Saint Anselm last won 10 road games in one season during the 2015-16 campaign and the all-time record for wins away from Stoutenburgh Gymnasium was 12 (1990-91).
  • Saint Anselm is averaging 69 points per game in 2018-19, the 10th best figure in single-season history. Entering Sunday's game, the Hawks' 45.3 rebounds per contest stands as the top mark in program history, edging the 45.1 rebounds per game accomplished by the 1984-85 program.
  • Ryan ranks second nationally with 20 double-doubles, trailing only Southern Connecticut State's Kiana Steinauer. She averages 12.2 rebounds per game, the eighth-best mark in the nation, and averages 18.8 points per game to rank third among NE10 scorers. She reached 1,000 career points against Saint Michael's last Saturday, becoming only the 19th in team history to do so.
  • Ryan currently stands as the program's all-time leading rebounder with 11.5 rebounds per game. Her 18.6 points per game in a Hawks uniform is second all-time, trailing only Linda Dunn's mark of 19.2 across 81 games from 1980-84. Her 118 career blocks are the fourth-most all-time and her 634 career rebounds are the 14th most in program history.
  • Steinman owns the nation's 13th best free throw percentage (88.1%) and ranks seventh in the NE10 with 33.9 minutes played per game. She is in the midst of a breakout season, scoring 14.1 points per game while averaging 6.2 rebounds per contest, both career-high marks. She has reached double-digit scoring totals in nine-straight games and 14 out of her last 15 appearances for Saint Anselm.
  • Junior Sara Messler (Durham, N.H.) has notched 9.1 points per game, a career-best total, and classmate Julia Thissell (Hopkinton, Mass.) has provided a spark off the bench, tallying just shy of five points per game while securing 3.4 caroms, on average.
  • Senior Ashley Briggs (Scarborough, Maine) is in the midst of a stellar fourth season on the Hilltop, setting career-high marks for points per game (4.4), minutes per game (27.4), games started (26), rebounds per game (2.2) and assists per game (2.5). She is joined in the backcourt by classmate Michaela Martin (Haverhill, Mass.) – she has also set career-highs in rebounds per game (2.5).
  • Guards Guachione and Eva Mazur (South Portland, Maine) have earned 25 starts between them as Guachione was felled by injury near the midpoint of the season. Guachione has set personal-best marks with 7.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest. As a freshman, Mazur has averaged nearly 20 minutes per game, handing out 2.1 assists per game.

 SCOUTING ADELPHI:

  • Since winning the NE10 Championship in 2016-17 and finishing the year with a 27-5 overall record, the Panthers recorded a 14-16 season one year ago and, to date, have racked up a 15-12 overall record entering play this Sunday in 2018-19.
  • Adelphi's six-game winning streak entering play on Sunday is the second-longest in the NE10, trailing Bentley's active 13-game winning streak.
  • Adelphi ranks third in the NE10 with a 74.0% free throw percentage, a figure that ranks the Panthers 54th in NCAA Division II.
  • Leonie Edringer, a transfer from NCAA Division I Boise State, ranks third in the NE10 with a 54.6% field goal percentage while her 10 double-doubles, seven defensive rebounds per game and 172 field goals made rank her sixth in the league.
  • Niajah Morgan, a mainstay in a Panthers uniform, needs only four points to reach 1,000 for her career in an Adelphi uniform. She was named to the NE10 All-Championship Team as a sophomore in 2017, scoring 17 points, four rebounds and a steal in the league's title game against Bentley.

NE10 POSTSEASON ALL-TIME:

  • Saint Anselm won its first and only NE10 tournament title in 1990-91, defeating nationally-ranked Bentley by an 81-76 margin. The Hawks have finished as the tournament's runner-up on five occasions, most recently in 1998-99.
  • Adelphi has won two NE10 titles (2014-15, 2016-17) and was the runner-up in 2013-14. Across six appearances in the conference championship since joining the league prior to the 2009-10 season, the Panthers are a combined 11-4.
  • The Hawks are 26-28 in the NE10 postseason with their furthest recent trip in the tournament coming in 2017 with a semifinals loss to Bentley. Saint Anselm's most recent NCAA Division II Tournament appearance came in 2016, falling to Bentley by a 62-54 margin in the regional quarterfinals.

HEAD COACHES: 

  • Saint Anselm head coach Corey Boilard has registered a 35-20 (.636) record since joining the Hawks prior to the 2017-18 season. After a 17-win campaign in his first season, the Hawks have lost only eight of their 26 games in 2018-19.
  • Boilard owns an 119-73 overall record between his time with the Hawks and NCAA Division III Johnson & Wales (R.I.). With the Wildcats, Boilard's teams went 62-22 (.738) overall in his last three seasons, making two NCAA Tournament appearances overall.
  • Missy Traversi is in the midst of her third year with the Panthers, leading Adelphi to an NE10 Championship in her very first season. Adelphi hosted the NCAA Division II East Region Championship that season and her team was ranked as high as eighth in the country by the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association.
  • Traversi has racked up an 85-55 overall record between her tenure at Adelphi and NCAA Division III Wheelock. 

ALL-TIME vs. ADELPHI:

  • Saint Anselm owns a 7-3 edge in the all-time series against Adelphi that dates back to Jan. 9, 2010, a one-point Hawks win at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium. The biggest margin of victory for the Hawks came on Jan. 26, 2016, a 62-42 win at home.
  • Earlier this season, Ryan's 30-point, 20-rebound performance on the road pushed the Hawks ahead of Adelphi, 75-72, on Jan. 12. Down by four, 61-57, with 20 seconds elapsed in the fourth quarter, a clutch three-point basket by Briggs keyed an 18-11 run by the Hawks to end the game.