GUILFORD RECEIVES SECOND STRAIGHT NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYOFF BID
Quakers will host Marymount (Va.), Piedmont, and Albright for first, and second-round tournament action
GUILFORD’S INVITATION: By virtue of its February 26 victory in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Women’s Basketball Tournament final, Guilford College received one of 43 automatic bids to the NCAA Division III women’s basketball playoffs. The Quakers are making their sixth NCAA appearance in school history, and will host opening-round games for the first time since 2002.
Guilford meets the Marymount (Va.) University (22-5) Friday (3/3) at 7:30 p.m. in the second of two first-round games. The game will be preceded by Piedmont College (21-7) versus Albright College (22-5) at 5:30 p.m. The winners of Friday’s games meet Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the second round. Each of the first- and second-games will be played in Guilford’s Ragan-Brown Field House.
TICKET INFORMATION: General admission tickets cost $7. Student and senior citizen (ages 65+) tickets are $4 and children under two are free. All ticket sales are cash only and will take place in the Ragan-Brown Field House lobby starting 90 minutes prior to the start of each game.
LIVE VIDEO COVERAGE: All three games will be streamed live over the Internet. Fans can visit http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/basketball-women/d3 to see the full tournament bracket and find links to live video and statistics.
SERIES RESULTS: Marymount has won the only two women’s basketball meetings with Guilford. The Saints downed the Quakers, 87-79 in 1997, and 56-52 in 2012. Guilford dropped a 74-72 decision to Piedmont in the teams’ lone meeting in 2001. The Quakers have never played Albright in women’s basketball.
GUILFORD VS. 2017 NCAA PLAYOFF FIELD: The Quakers have a 3-1 record against the other teams in this year’s field of 64. Guilford split the regular-season series with Lynchburg College (22-6), losing the first game on the road, 74-61, but winning the second game at home, 58-48. Guilford defeated the Hornets in the ODAC Championship, 59-53, to receive the loop’s automatic bid. Earlier in the season, Guilford beat Husson University (22-4) in a double-overtime thriller in Ragan-Brown Field House.
GUILFORD IN NCAA PLAYOFFS: The Quakers are making their sixth NCAA playoff appearance and have a 3-5 record in NCAA games. In 2001, Guilford won its first ODAC crown and made its NCAA tournament debut with an 80-57 home win over Meredith College. The victory sent the Quakers to Abilene, Texas, for a second-round contest against Hardin-Simmons University. Hardin-Simmons advanced to the Sweet 16 round with a 106-77 victory. In 2002, Guilford again won the ODAC title and scored a 54-47 home win over Methodist College in a first-round NCAA game. The win earned another trip to Hardin-Simmons, where the Cowgirls prevailed, 72-71.
In 2012, the Quakers won their third ODAC title and the league’s NCAA playoff bid. Guilford dropped a 59-47 opening-round contest at Centre College.
The Quakers earned their fourth NCAA trip with another ODAC title in 2014 and drew Christopher Newport University in a first-round game. The Captains won on their home court in Newport News, Virginia, 66-47. In 2016, the Quakers earned an at-large bid, and defeated the University of Mount Union 61-57, before losing to host Thomas More University, 92-40 in the second round.
THE 2017 NCAA PLAYOFFS: The Division III championship provides for a 64-team field. The NCAA granted 43 conference champions automatic qualification for the 2017 championship. The final 21 berths were reserved for Pool C, which includes institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that are not the conference champion, and any Pool B teams, which includes independent institutions and those who play in a conference that lacks an automatic qualifier.
Sixteen first and second-round sites will be conducted March 3-4. Second-round winners advance to one of four sectional sites March 10-11. Winners of the four sectional sites will advance to the national semifinals March 18. All games, except the semifinals and final, will be played on the campuses of competing institutions. The semifinals and final will be played at Van Noord Arena on the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
GUILFORD LEADERS: Fourteenth-year head coach Stephanie Flamini’s team enters the tournament with a 24-3 overall record. The Quakers won their fifth ODAC championship last weekend, and enter the tournament on a nine-game winning streak.
Anais Weatherly, a 5-11 senior forward, earned her second consecutive First Team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) honor last week. The 25-game starter tops Guilford in most statistical categories, including scoring (14.0 ppg.), rebounding (8.4 rpg.) and assists (3.2 apg.). She leads the league in steals (4.1 spg.) and ranks sixth in the country in steals per game, while fourth in total steals with 111, a school record.
Weatherly ranks among the ODAC’s top 10 in 11 different statistical categories. A three-time ODAC Player of the Week, Weatherly has a team-high 11 double-doubles, including a season-high 24-point, 14-rebound performance in a double overtime victory against previously undefeated Husson December 30. She stands 62nd among national leaders with 11 double-doubles.
Weatherly prominently among Guilford’s career leaders in points (1,352, 6th), rebounds (826, 4th), assists (255, 9th) and steals (316, 2nd).
Senior Heaven Walters was a first-time All-ODAC selection as a second-team pick. The forward contributes 11.6 points per game, second best on the team, and adds 6.2 boards and 2.1 assists per contest. She ranks second to her freshman sister, Miracle (.573) with a .516 field-goal percentage. One of Heaven’s best performances this season also came against Husson, when she collected a career-high 23 points and nine rebounds.
Junior guard Lauren Ramsey earned Third Team All-ODAC honors for the second straight year. Her 10.9 points per game average stands third on the team. She also contributes 4.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. She posted 20-point games against conference opponents Lynchburg College January 4, and Virginia Wesleyan College February 11.
DOUBLE THE FUN: For the first time in school history, both of Guilford’s basketball teams won the ODAC title, which means both squads advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament, another first. There are 20 schools with teams in both NCAA Division III basketball tourneys this year. The Quakers’ men open tournament play Friday against Thomas More College in a game played at Marietta College in Ohio.