William Smith College will make its ninth NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament appearance on the very floor where they won their 11th conference championship. William Smith will host the Presidents of Washington & Jefferson College at 7 p.m., on March 2, in Bristol Gym.
Tickets are $4 for general admission and $3 for senior citizens, students, and children over 5 years old. Tickets will go on sale two hours prior to tipoff in Bristol Gym. Hobart and William Smith students will be admitted free of charge with a proper student ID.
The Herons (18-7, 11-3 Liberty) earned a spot in the 50-team field by capturing the Liberty League Championship and the accompanying automatic bid with a 68-55 win over St. Lawrence University on Feb. 26.
William Smith is led by Liberty League Rookie of the Year Marisa Vespa (Immaculate Heart/Watertown, N.Y.). The 5-foot-4 guard leads the Herons in scoring (11.3 ppg) and assists (5.3 apg). Vespa’s 128 assists this season are the most by a William Smith player since Liz Brown ’00 logged 130 during the 1999-2000 season.
The Herons, who are making their first tournament appearance since 1999-2000, are 10-8 all-time in NCAA play, advancing as far as the national quarterfinals in 1996-97.
The Presidents (21-6) received an at-large bid after finishing atop the Presidents’ Athletic Conference regular season standings and finishing second in the PAC tournament.
Washington & Jefferson is led by PAC Player of the Year Leigh Sulkowski (Upper St. Clair, Pa./Upper St. Clair). The junior guard leads the team in scoring (22.4 ppg), and steals (2.3 spg) and is second in rebounding (8.5 rpg) and blocked shots (1.8 bpg).
The Presidents are making their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance. W&J lost in the first round of its first two appearances (1994, ’98) and fell in the second round of the 2003 fray after receiving a first round bye.
This will be the first meeting between William Smith and Washington & Jefferson.
WEOS-FM (89.7/90.3 in Geneva, 88.1 in Ithaca) will broadcast the game. For those outside the listening area, live online coverage, including real-time statistics and streaming audio, will be available at: http://campus.hws.edu/athletics/herons/basketball/live/xlive.htm.