PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State University women's basketball team will make its first post-season appearance since 2003 this week with an appearance in the ECAC Division III New England Tournament.
The Panthers (16-10) are seeded eighth in this year's tournament and will travel to top-seeded Nichols College (23-4) on Wednesday, Mar. 4, for a first-round game at 5:00 p.m. The other first-round match-ups included seventh-seeded Colby-Sawyer College (16-9) at second-seeded Worcester Polytechnic Institute (21-6); sixth-seeded Emerson College (20-8) at third-seeded Endicott College (23-5); and fifth-seeded University of New England (20-7) at fourth-seeded Keene State College (20-7).
Wednesday's quarterfinal winners will advance to Saturday's semifinal round, with the higher-seeded teams serving as hosts. The championship game is slated for Sunday afternoon at the site of the highest remaining seed. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy defeated Fitchburg State College to claim last year's title.
Plymouth State, led by 11th-year head coach Lauren Lavigne, earned the ECAC berth after winning 16 games and placing fifth in the rugged Little East Conference. The 16 wins was a five-game improvement over last year and the most for PSU since recording a 23-8 mark in 2002-03. The Panthers posted key wins this season over NCAA Tournament-bound schools Babson, Westfield State and Castleton, and all 10 losses were to teams that made either the NCAA or ECAC Tournament.
Nichols, which registered a 21-game winning streak en route to a program-best 23-4 record, earned a share of The Commonwealth Coast Conference regular season title. The Bison were the top seed in the conference tournament but were upset in the semifinals by fifth-seeded and eventual champion Salve Regina.
PSU is making its sixth ECAC Tournament appearance, and first since playing in four in a row from 2000-03. The Panthers first played in the ECAC's in 1990, and won back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003. Plymouth State also competed in the NCAA Tournament in 1995.
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