INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In the Selection Show on Monday morning, the field of 64 teams for the 2016 championship were released by the NCAA. The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team (22-5) learned they are headed to Texas-Tyler to face Trinity (Tex., 22-5) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
From the NCAA:
"Forty-four conferences have been awarded automatic qualification for the 2016 championship. The final 20 berths were reserved for programs from automatic-qualifying conferences that are not the conference champion. Sixteen first/second-round sites will be conducted March 4-5. Second-round winners will advance to one of four sectional sites March 11-12. Winners of the four sectional sites will advance to the national semifinals March 19. All games, except the semifinals and final, will be played on the campuses of competing institutions. The semifinals will be conducted at the Capital Center Performance Arena on the campus of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. The finals will be part of a larger 35th anniversary NCAA women's basketball championship celebration taking place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis the first week in April. Championship week will culminate with five championship basketball games and three national titles decided within a 48-hour period at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It will be the first time in the history of NCAA women's basketball that all three divisional championships will be decided in the same city and venue."
UT Tyler is one first and second round site for the NCAA Tournament and is hosting CMS, UC Santa Cruz, and Trinity. CMS and Trinity square off in the first game on Friday, Mar. 4 at 5 p.m. (CST) followed by UT Tyler and UC Santa Cruz playing in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. (CST). The winners will then match up the next day, Mar. 5 at 5 p.m. with the winner advancing to the sweet sixteen.
The Athenas (22-5) were the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) regular season champs at 15-1 and then won the SCIAC Postseason Tournament beating Redlands 70-47 in the semifinal and then Cal Lutheran 75-49 in the final. This is the third-consecutive regular season championship, tournament championship and NCAA berth for CMS. CMS is led by sophomore Kailee Severt (CMC) who averages 13.0 points and 2.0 three-pointers per game. Defensively, senior Mara Falahee (SCR) leads the team with 8.8 rebounds per game. Head coach Kristen Dowling says, "We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to compete in the NCAA Tournament and this team is more determined than I have ever seen them before."
Trinity (22-5) earned an automatic qualification by capturing the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) championship beating Texas Lutheran 69-54 in the semifinal and then Schreiner University 66-50 in the final. The Tigers' most recent NCAA appearance was in 2013, head coach, Cameron Hill's first year at the helm. TU is led by junior Monica Holguin at 14.0 points per game while senior Caitlin Barrett dishes out at least three assists per game.
UT Tyler (27-1) won the American Southwest Conference (ASC) with victories over East Texas Baptist (90-78) in the semifinal and then Howard Payne (77-70) in the final of the ASC Tournament. Texas-Tyler is currently on a 19-game win streak and is ranked No. 6 by D3hoops.com under Kendra Hassell in her first season at UT Tyler. The Patriots are led by junior Michelle Obach at 18.1 points per game as junior Alex Kochner has pulled in 207 rebounds this season.
UC Santa Cruz (15-11) earned its first ever NCAA bid by way of an automatic qualification from the Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC). The Banana Slugs bested Finlandia 76-72 en route to the tournament final where they beat Salem College 73-57. Senior Ashley Holmes leads UCSC with 9.6 points per game while freshman center Madison Van Zandt averages 2.0 blocks a game. This is head coach Todd Kent's sixth year at UCSC.
By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director
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