BEVERLY, Mass. – The first-seeded Endicott women's basketball team (18-8) hosts third-seeded Western New England (19-8) on Saturday, February 23 for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament Championship at 2 PM in MacDonald Gymnasium.
SERIES HISTORY: Endicott leads the series, 16-9 and the Gulls won the regular-season meetings this year by scores of 62-55 (1/3/19) and 52-48 (2/13/19). The last time the two met in a CCC Tournament contest was the CCC Quarterfinals in 2013-14 and Endicott came out on top, 72-68.
SCOUTING ENDICOTT: The Gulls enter Thursday's game with an overall record of 18-8 and a home court record of 7-4. Endicott captured the No. 1 seed in the tournament for the first time since the 2007-08 season with a 13-3 conference mark. Endicott is led by CCC Coach of the Year Brittany Hutchinson, who is in her eighth year at the helm of the program.
CCC Player of the Year and CCC All-Conference First Team selection Emily Pratt (Gardner, Mass.) currently ranks second in the conference in points (451) and steals (58), third in points per game (17.3), points per 40 minutes (20.9), and field goals made (151), fourth in free throws made (103) and three-point field goal percentage (34.6) and fifth in three-point field goals made (44). She also hit the 1,000 career point mark during Thursday's CCC semifinal game.
Kaleigh Putnam (Wallingford, Conn.) was named to the CCC All-Conference Second team and currently ranks first in the conference in free throw percentage, third in blocks (26), eighth in assists (70), No. 12 in points per game, No. 13 in field goal percentage, No. 16 in points (281) and field goals made (95), and No. 18 in points per 40 minutes (14.6).
CCC All-Conference Third Team honoree Mikaela Rogers (Haverhill, Mass.) will also look to help the Gulls on both ends of the court as she averages 10.6 points per game (41.0 FG%, 62.1 FT%), 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks so far this season.
The Gulls recorded a 67-51 victory over No. 5 Curry College during the CCC Semifinal round on Thursday night. Shannon Gilbert (Easton, Conn.) led the team in points with 17, while Pratt was close behind with 15. Putnam pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Catie Lipscomb (West Springfield, Mass.) contributed four assists and three steals during the victory.
SCOUTING WESTERN NEW ENGLAND: The Golden Bears are 9-3 on the road this season and just came away with a 67-59 victory over second-seeded University of New England on Thursday night during the CCC Semifinals. Leading WNE offensively throughout that contest was Courtney Carlson (Woodbury, Conn.) with 20 points and Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) pulled down 11 rebounds.
Emily Farrell (New Fairfield, Conn.) was named to the CCC All-Conference First Team and ranks second in the conference in both assists (113) and assists per game (4.2), fifth in points (374), sixth in points per game (13.9), and seventh in steals (43).
CCC All-Conference First Team selection Orbann also ranks highly in several categories as she is fourth in field goal percentage (41.7), sixth in points (351), and seventh in points per game (13.0), rebounds per game (7.4) and three-point percentage (34.0).
The winner of Saturday's contest between No. 1 Endicott and No. 3 Western New England will earn the CCC Championship title and will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament.
(Games hosted by the higher seed)
Quarterfinals – Tuesday, Feb. 19
#2 University of New England def. #7 Gordon, 64-39
#3 Western New England def. #6 Salve Regina, 64-52
#5 Curry def. #4 Roger Williams, 64-61
Semifinals – Thursday, Feb. 21
#1 Endicott def. #5 Curry, 67-51
#3 Western New England def. #2 University of New England, 67-59
Finals – Saturday, Feb. 23
#3 Western New England at #1 Endicott, 2 p.m.
(Photo credit - Lindsay Dieterich)