Women's Basketball to Take on Ferrum College in NCAA First Round
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St. Louis, Mo., February 28, 2012 - The No. 9-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women’s basketball team will make its 23rd-consecutive NCAA tournament appearance when the Bears travel to Danville, Ky., to take on Ferrum College in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament on Friday, March.
Washington U., who finished the regular season 20-5, will face Ferrum (23-5) in the first round of the tournament. Host Centre College (24-3) and Guilford College (22-6) will square off in the other game. The winners of the two first-round games will play on Saturday for a spot in the NCAA sectionals. Times for the games have yet to be determined.
The Bears’ at-large bid to this year’s tournament marks the 24th NCAA tournament appearance in 26 seasons under head coach Nancy Fahey. Washington U. has posted a 59-20 (.747 winning percentage) record in NCAA tournament games under Fahey, which is the most wins in Division III history. The Bears have also made a Division III record 10 NCAA Final Four appearances, including four national championship game appearances in the last five seasons.
Washington U.’s first-round opponent, Ferrum, earned an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the USA South Athletic Conference tournament. The Panthers defeated Christopher Newport University 82-56 to win their second USA South title in school history. This marks Ferrum’s second NCAA Tournament appearance, and first since 1995, when the Panthers lost in the first round. The 23 wins for Ferrum this season is a school record, and the Panthers rank in the top-five in NCAA Division III in three offensive categories – first in assists per game (19.0), second in field-goal percentage (46.4), and fourth in scoring offense (77.7 points per game). Friday’s game will be the first-ever between Washington U. and Ferrum.
Centre earned an automatic bid by winning its fifth Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament title in program history. The Colonels enter the postseason with a 24-3 record, which is the highest winning percentage in school history. They will be making their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance, and first since 2001, when they advanced to the sectional semifinal before falling to Ohio Wesleyan University. Centre has an all-time record of 11-7 in the NCAA Tournament, with its best finish being a third-place showing in 1989. Washington U. won the only meeting between the two teams, 58-51, in the 1991-92 season.
Guilford upset top-seeded Virginia Wesleyan 57-40 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament championship on Sunday to earn an automatic berth into the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Quakers held Virginia Wesleyan to 18 percent field-goal shooting to secure its third NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Guilford is 2-2 in its two previous trips to the NCAA Tourmanent in 2001 and 2002. Washington U. and the Quakers have never met.