Four teams remain in NEAC Women's Basketball Tournament

Katie Armstrong (Penn State Berks) and Brooke Hammersley (Morrisville State).
Katie Armstrong (Penn State Berks) and Brooke Hammersley (Morrisville State).

LATHAM, N.Y. – With Tuesday’s first round games complete, the final four teams are set for the 2020 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Women’s Basketball Final Four. The semifinal and final round of the tournament will be hosted by NEAC Regular Season Champion SUNY Poly on Feb. 29-March 1.

SUNY Poly and Lancaster Bible received first-round byes as the top seed in each division. To determine the regular season champion and Final Four host, the top seed from each division are compared with the first seeding criteria being the record of No. 1 seeds against their opposite division. SUNY Poly’s record against the South Division was 6-0 while Lancaster Bible went 2-4 against the North Division. 

The first semifinal game will feature No. 2 South seed Penn State Berks at No. 1 North seed SUNY Poly on Saturday at 2 p.m. The second semifinal will follow at 4 p.m. with No. 2 North seed Morrisville State meeting No. 1 South seed Lancaster Bible. The winners of the semifinal contests will meet in the championship game on Sunday at 2 p.m. The tournament champion will receive an automatic berth to the 2020 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament.

North Division First Round

No. 3 SUNY Cobleskill 78, No. 2 Morrisville State 79 (Boxscore)

Morrisville State sweated it out down the stretch, but was able to hold on with some clutch free throw shooting to win at home 79-78 in the North Division First Round game.

Freshman guard Rachel Vieira (Caruthers, Cali.) and junior guard Alexis Campbell (Buffalo, N.Y.) each made a pair from the charity stripe to push the Mustangs’ lead to five with 32 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. 

Despite shooting 36 percent from the floor, the Mustangs were able to take care of the ball by limiting their turnovers to just six.  Cobleskill committed 15 turnovers on their side. 

Campbell finished with 24 points including 9-of-9 from the free throw line, Brooke Hammersley scored 19 points off the bench and Tori Rockefeller added 18 points.

SUNY Cobleskill made it close by outscoring Morrisville State 25-13 in the final frame, led by junior guard Nylasia Sutton (Queens, N.Y.), who dropped a game-high 29 points to go along with nine rebounds and freshman forward Anna Post (Bovina Center, N.Y.), who totaled 23 points, 21 rebounds, and five assists. 

With Tuesday’s loss, the Fighting Tigers season comes to an end at 12-14 overall. Morrisville State will head to the semifinal round with a 18-8 overall record.

South Division First Round

No. 3 Penn State Harrisburg 64, No. 2 Penn State Berks 103 (Boxscore)

After an initial slow start, Penn State Berks put together a dominant performance thereafter,

outscoring Penn State Harrisburg 27-8 in the second quarter to open up a 47-30 halftime lead. 

Penn State Berks never looked back from there as it extended the lead as much as 30 early in the fourth quarter as the team shot 50 percent from the floor, 60 percent from beyond the arc (9-of-15) and 90 percent from the charity stripe (28-of-31). 

Junior guard Katie Armstrong (Boyertown, Pa.) shot a sizzling 8-of-13 from the floor including 4 of 5 from 3-point range and made good on 10-of-11 of her free throws to total a career-high 30 as Penn State Berks pulled away for a 103-64 victory in Tuesday’s South Division First Round game.

Senior guard Kylie Herman (Shillington, Pa.) scored 22 while sophomore guard Nicole Kopcik (Bernville, Pa.) recorded a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. 

Penn State Harrisburg received a solid scoring punch from its underclassmen.

Freshman guard Jayla Galbreath (Shrewsbury, Pa.) produced a team-high 17 points while backcourt mate and sophomore Kendis Butler (York, Pa.) contributed with 13 points. 

Penn State Berks returns to the NEAC Final Four with a 16-9 overall mark. Penn State Harrisburg wraps up its season going 12-14 overall.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Morrisville State, Penn College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, Penn State Harrisburg, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Poly, and Wells College. Associate members are: Alfred State (M Lacrosse), Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), College of Saint Elizabeth (M Tennis & M Volleyball), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), SUNY Potsdam (M Volleyball) and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has also partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and women’s tennis. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com