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Women's Basketball to Play No. 1 Amherst in NESCAC Semifinals Saturday

Photo by Lianne Yun '18
Photo by Lianne Yun '18

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The fifth-seeded Wesleyan (17-7) women's basketball team will play at top-seeded and nationally-ranked No. 1 Amherst (25-0) this Saturday, Feb. 24 in the NESCAC Semifinals. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. in LeFrak Gymnasium. The winner of Saturday's Little Three showdown will face the winner of No. 2 Bowdoin (24-1) versus No. 3 Tufts (22-3) in the finals on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 12 p.m.

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Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for students/seniors, and free for children two and under. Tickets will go on sale at Noon at the outdoor entrance to LeFrak Gymnasium, between Alumni Gym and Orr Rink. Doors to the game will open at Noon. Both semifinals and the championship game will be webcast via NSN at NESCAC.com. Streams are also available through Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV (search for NESCAC).

AT A GLANCE: NO. 5 WESLEYAN

  • Senior forward Maddie Bledsoe posted game-highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds to lift No. 5 Wesleyan past No. 4 Middlebury, 63-62, in the quarterfinals.
  • The Cardinals, who have recorded their most wins since the 2007-08 season, are in the semifinals for the first time since 2008.
  • Bledsoe is one of four Cardinals averaging double figures this season, as she averages a double-double of 10.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. She's been the league's top rebounder for the majority of the season.
  • Junior Olivia Gorman is the leading scorer for the Cardinals at 13.3 points per game, while junior Tara Berger and senior Maeve Vitale are chipping in 10.5 and 10.0 points per game, respectively. Berger also ranks second in the NESCAC in rebounding, averaging 7.5 boards per contest.
  • The Cardinals lead the league in rebounding (45.5), rank second in scoring (68.3), and third in field goal percentage defense (33.9).
  • Wesleyan has never advanced to the NESCAC Championship game and is 5-12 all-time in 13 appearances.  

AT A GLANCE: NO. 1 AMHERST

  • Amherst, the two-time defending champions, held No. 8 Trinity to five field goals over the final three quarters to post a 56-34 quarterfinal victory and win its 58th consecutive game.
  • The Mammoths, who have won seven NESCAC titles overall, are the top defensive team in the league, holding opponents to 39.2 points per game on a league-best 28.1 percent shooting.
  • Sophomores Madeline Eck and Hannah Fox lead a balanced attack for the Mammoths, averaging 11.8 and 11.4 points per game, respectively. Junior Emma McCarthy is the team's top rebounder at 7.2 per game and chips in 9.6 points per game.
  • The defending national champions are 29-8 all-time in 16 NESCAC Championship appearances and boast seven titles and three runner-up finishes.

SERIES HISTORY:

  • The Mammoths defeated the Cardinals twice during the regular season, winning 64-40 at home and 66-51 on the road.
  • Amherst is 60-22 all-time against the Cardinals and 2-0 versus Wesleyan in the NESCAC Championship series.
  • The two teams last met in the 2010 quarterfinals, with Amherst registering a 57-36 victory.

-- Preview courtesy of the NESCAC --