|2||Franklin Pierce (1)||208||24-8|
|9||So. New Hampshire||109||12-16|
2011 Season Preview
DeAnn Craft (3rd Year, 21-33)
Last Year's Record-
11-16, 8-14, 12th, Lost in Northeast-10 First Round
Megan Howard – 11.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg
Epiphany Smith – 12.4 ppg, 2.0 apg
Curran Leighton – 8.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg
The Saint Anselm women's basketball team earned the 12th and final postseason bid a year ago, meaning it will need to take another step forward now that the championship field will feature 10 teams this season and beyond. The Hawks went 11-16 and 8-14 in conference action before falling to Pace in the first round of the Northeast-10 Championship a year ago.
Third-year head coach DeAnn Craft returns 15 of 17 players and all five starters, so perhaps Saint Anselm has what it takes to make the leap into the top half of the conference. The Hawks, who saw nine freshman receive playing time last year, defeated conference power Franklin Pierce on the road in mid-February last year before losing two of three entering postseason play.
Leading scorers Epiphany Smith (12.4 ppg) and Megan Howard (11.8 ppg) are both back for their senior seasons to help lead the way. Smith was in double figures in points 19 times last year while Howard posted 11 double-doubles in 2010-11.
The Hawks were selected 11th in the Northeast-10 Preseason Poll, receiving 87 points in the vote.
Barbara Stevens (26th Year, 664-149)
Last Year's Record:
28-5, 19-3, 1st, Northeast-10 Conference Championship
Lost in Elite Eight to Clayton State
Jacqui Brugliera – 14.9 ppg, NE-10 Rookie of the Year
Elise Caira – 13.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg
Lauren Battsita – 13.3 ppg, All-Rookie Team
How high can the bar be set? What defines a successful season? Hall of Fame head coach Barbara Stevens has established new benchmarks for both of those questions during her 25-year career at Bentley. Under her direction, the Falcons have won 664 games and made 24 NCAA Championship appearances. They've won 11 regional championships, including a year ago, as they defeated Pace University to advance to the Elite Eight.
A year ago, Stevens became just the fifth coach in women's college basketball to win her 800th game, when the Falcons knocked off C.W. Post in December. Ultimately, their season would come to an end at the hands of national title winner Clayton State University in the national quarterfinals. And an argument can be made that this year's team should be even better. The Falcons finished 28-5 a year ago, including a robust 19-3 mark in NE-10 Conference play.
Gone is floor general and four-year starter Kim Brennan, who was undoubtedly an extension of Stevens on the court. The Falcons, however, return essentially every other player on their roster and hope to return junior transfer Caleigh Crowell to the mix. Returners include conference rookie of the year, Jacqui Brugliera, who was undoubtedly one of the top players in the region a year ago, and classmate Lauren Battista, who people around the Bentley program feel should develop into an All-Conference-type performer during her time in Waltham.
Also returning for the high-octane Falcons will be Elise Caira, who was off to a terrific start a season ago, before an injury forced her to miss the final 23 games of the season, and Courtney Finn, an extremely dangerous wing who many feel is one of the more underrated players in the NE-10.
Bentley led the conference in scoring a year ago, as they averaged 73 points per game, and this year's team could be even more lethal. The Falcons were also among the conference's leading squads in terms of rebound margin, turnover margin, and points allowed.
While the preseason coaches' poll won't be released until later this month, it's a safe bet that Bentley will be on top and the national expectations for this year's team are lofty as well, as the Division II Women's Bulletin has ranked the Falcons #2 in their preseason poll. Bentley is undoubtedly the favorite to be representing the East Region in mid-March of 2012 in San Antonio, Texas, when the women's Elite Eight gets underway.
The Falcons open their 2011-2012 season at the UMass Lowell Tipoff Tournament, where they will take on regional power Holy Family and Felician November 12th and 13th, respectively.
Heather Jacobs (2nd Year, 8-18)
Last Year's Record:
8-18, 5-17, 14th
Kara Tancredi, 12ppg, 6 rpg (Second Leading Scorer Last Year)
Jessica Kitrys, 9ppg, 5rpg (NE-10 All-Rookie Team Member)
Under the direction of second-year head coach Heather Jacobs, the Panthers are not only looking to improve upon their win total of a year ago, but also to change the culture at Adelphi. Coach Jacobs, who brings a unique perspective to the sidelines, as she also played in the Northeast-10 (Franklin Pierce '06), is trying to instill a philosophy of success at Adelphi. "This is not an overnight fix. We're trying to change the culture, to change the program here at Adelphi. Winning programs share successful mindsets and attitudes and that's what we're trying to do here," said Jacobs.
Jacobs and the Panthers were hampered by injuries throughout the 2010-2011 campaign, and obviously, hope for some better luck this year. "We were never at full strength last year and it hurt us in a lot of games."
Adelphi will be one of the youngest teams in the NE-10, as the roster is filled with first and second-year players. Four freshman and five sophomores make up the bulk of the Panthers squad, which features only one senior. "I'm really excited for where our group is, we have six new faces overall and they're all doing great" said the second year coach. "All of our players came in in great shape, and I'm excited about implementing our new system here at Adelphi."
The system she is referring to is a 'four out, one in' offense that new assistant coach Bill Carpenter has brought with him from his time at Northeastern University. "Our new assistant had a lot of success with that system, and we're excited about incorporating it here," continued Jacobs.
While Coach Jacobs expects a great deal out of returners like Northeast-10 All-Rookie team member Jessica Kitrys "we're excited to see what she can do for us this year," and Kara Tancredi (pictured in graphic)"she really was never at 100% last year and she still had a great season," she's been pleasantly surprised by the early season play of sophomores Sade Jackson and Ashley O'Connell. "They've really impressed me so far," said Jacobs. "We're trying to build a foundation of success here and players like Sade and Ashley will be extremely important to accomplish that goal."
When asked about goals, Jacobs doesn't talk in terms of wins and losses. "Obviously we'd like to win more games then we did last year, but if we continue to work hard and focus on getting better every day, I really believe the process will take care of itself."
Adelphi opens the season Saturday, November 12th as they host the University of Bridgeport. They kick off NE-10 play Wednesday, November 16th on the road against Southern Connecticut State University.
November 11: First Day of Games
November 16: Northeast-10 Conference Play Begins
February 24: Northeast-10 Championship - First Round
February 26: Northeast-10 Championship - Quarterfinals
March 1: Northeast-10 Championship - Semifinals
March 4: Northeast-10 Championship - Finals
March 9: NCAA Championship - First Round
March 10: NCAA Championship - Regional Semifinals
March 12: NCAA Championship - Regional Finals
March 20: NCAA Championship - National Quarterfinals (Elite Eight)
March 21: NCAA Championship - National Semifinals (Final Four)
March 23: NCAA Championship - National Championship Game