Women's Basketball will face No. 10 Denison in NCAA First Round on Friday
BRACKET | TEAM REACTION
St. Louis, Mo., February 28, 2011 – The No. 9 Washington University in St. Louis women’s basketball team is dancing for the 22nd year in a row as the Bears earned an at-large berth into the 2011 NCAA Division III Tournament it was announced Monday by the NCAA Selection Committee.
Washington University, the 2010 NCAA Division III Champions, will face Denison University in the first round on Friday, March 4, in Holland, Mich. Regional host Hope College will face DePauw University in the other first-round match up on Friday night.
The Holland, Mich. Regional features three teams ranked in the top-11 of the latest D3Hoops.com Top-25 Poll and three programs that have won a combined eight national championships, including three of the last five Division III crowns: Washington U. (1998-01, 2010), Hope College (1990, 2006) and DePauw University (2007).
Washington University faced potential second-round opponent Hope College in the 2010 national championship game, a contest won by the Bears, 65-59, in Bloomington, Ill. Washington U. fell to DePauw, 55-52, in the 2007 national championship in Springfield, Mass. The Bears have also faced both Hope and DePauw so far this season, beating DePauw 58-56 on Nov. 21 and falling to Hope 48-46 on Dec. 29.
Washington University enters the postseason as one of three teams out of the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Bears finished the regular season with a 20-5 overall record and an 11-3 mark in UAA play. Senior Kathryn Berger leads the team in scoring (14.3) and rebounding (6.1), while senior point guard Alex Hoover averages 9.4 points and 4.4 assists per game.
No. 10 Denison earned an automatic bid as the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Champions and completed the first undefeated regular season in program history, with a 28-0 record entering postseason play. Denison, which is making its seventh appearance in the NCAA Tournament, is led by Shaina Kaiser (16.5 ppg) and Serafina Nuzzo (11.7 ppg).
Washington University and Denison have met just twice, with Washington University winning both meetings. The most recent contest came in 2007; a game the Bears won 87-76 at in Granville, Ohio.
DePauw won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) championship to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers are 25-3 in 2010-11 and are making their eighth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. DePauw is led by Katie Aldrich (13.3 ppg) and Katie Matthews (12.2) ppg, and has won 11-straight games heading into the postseason.
Hope College is also an at-large team in the tournament field, as the Flying Dutch lost the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) championship to Calvin College, 67-65, on Saturday afternoon. Hope is 26-2 on the year, with both of its losses coming at Calvin College. The Flying Dutch have participated in 12 NCAA Tournaments prior to this season and are making their sixth-straight appearance in the Big Dance. Senior Carrie Snikkers (14.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg) leads the Hope offense.
The Bears will face Denison on Friday at 5:15 p.m. (ET), while Hope and DePauw will play at 7:30 p.m. (ET). The winners of the two first round games will play for the regional title on Saturday, March 5, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased through the DeVos Fieldhouse Box Office, open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET), by calling 616-395-7890.