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PSC Women's Basketball receives bid to ECAC Tourney

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State College women's basketball team will make its first post-season appearance in five years this Wednesday in the opening round of the ECAC New England tournament.

The Panthers were rewarded for their strong regular season and conference tournament performances, receiving the #3 seed in the ECAC Tournament and a home game in the quarterfinals. PSC will host #6 seed Springfield College Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Foley Gymnasium.

The other first-round games Wednesday include #8 Babson at #1 Trinity, #7 Western Connecticut at #2 Middlebury, and #5 Emmanuel at #4 Colby. The semi-finals are slated for Friday night at the sites of the highest two remaining seeds, with the championship game Sunday afternoon at the higher seed of the two participants.

Led by second-year head coach Lauren Lavigne and a solid blend of veterans and newcomers, the Panthers will take a 19-8 overall record into the tournament. PSC earned strong regular-season wins over NCAA-bound teams Salem State, Norwich, Eastern Nazarene and Southern Maine, and then advanced to the Little East Conference Tournament finals last week with upset victories at Keene State and Western Connecticut.

Springfield, led by ninth-year head coach Naomi Graves, brings an 18-7 overall record to Plymouth. The Pride, who will be making their fifth consecutive ECAC appearance, finished 7-2 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), and was eliminated in the conference tournament semi-finals last Friday by NCAA-bound Wellesley College.

"We're delighted and a little surprised that we're seeded where we are," said Lavigne. "This is our third season, and this is the fun part. All the work has been done; now it's just go out and play. Springfield is a very good team and will be a very tough opponent, and we can't wait for the challenge."

The Panthers use a balanced attack, with nine players averaging between 14 and 26 minutes an outing. Three players earned Little East Conference honors this season - senior guard Courtney Jacques (Belmont, NH) was selected First Team All-LEC, junior forward Krystyna Zagorski (Matawan, NJ) was named Second Team All-LEC, and freshman center Courtney Albert (Hudson, NH) was voted LEC Rookie of the Year.

This will be only the third post-season appearance for PSC in women's basketball. The 1990-91 team, which included a freshman named Lauren Lavigne and first-year head coach Nancy Feldman, went to the ECAC Tournament and finished with a 19-7 overall record. The 1994-95 team, also guided by Feldman, received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and ended with a 21-7 mark.

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