Western New England to Make Inaugural NCAA Tournament Appearance on Friday at No. 4 Tufts

Western New England to Make Inaugural NCAA Tournament Appearance on Friday at No. 4 Tufts

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (February 25, 2019) – The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) champion Western New England University women's basketball team will make its inaugural appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament on Friday with a first-round matchup against host and No. 4 nationally ranked Tufts University at Cousens Gymnasium in Medford, Mass. at 7 p.m.

The Golden Bears (20-8) captured their first CCC title with a 69-55 victory over Endicott College in the championship contest on Saturday in Beverly, Mass. Western New England opened the CCC Tournament with a 64-52 quarterfinal win over Salve Regina in Springfield on Tuesday, before defeating the University of New England 67-59 in Biddeford, Maine on Thursday in the semifinals.

Tufts (25-2) claimed its third NESCAC championship on Sunday, as the Jumbos took down top-ranked and previously undefeated Bowdoin, 75-69, after defeating Williams and Amherst in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

Tufts is making its eighth straight and 11th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Jumbos, who have hosted first and second round action in seven of the last eight seasons, have made five consecutive NCAA Elite Eight appearances with four Final Four trips during that span, including consecutive appearances in the National Championship game in 2016 and 2017.

Cousens Gymnasium will also be the site of another first-round matchup on Friday between Haverford (21-6), the Centennial Conference champion, and Rosemont (24-3), the Colonial States Athletic Conference champion, with opening tip set for 5 p.m. 

The winner of the Western New England/Tufts contest will meet the winner of the Haverford/Rosemont matchup in the second round on Saturday.

Second round winners will advance to one of four sectional sites on March 8-9. Winners of the four sectional site games will advance to the national semifinals and final March 15-16 at the Cregger Center in Salem, Virginia.