Posted: Tuesday Feb 28, 2012
February 28, 2012
The Saint Vincent women's basketball team has earned a bid to the 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament and will play York (Pa.) on Friday, March 2, in Huntingdon, Pa., hosted by Juniata.
The Bearcats, who finished second in both the regular season and postseason tournament of the Presidents' Athletic Conference, are making their second-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Saint Vincent has now made the NCAA Tournament in both seasons as a full-time member of NCAA Division III.
“It's a great feeling to know that all the hard work that the players and staff have put in has paid off,” said first-year head coach Jimmy Petruska. “It's great for our program to continue the national recognition that has been paramount in the success of Saint Vincent basketball. We're thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Saint Vincent College in the manner we have all year.”
Petruska, who led the team to the national tournament a season ago as interim head coach, knows that the Bearcats must show that they belong there in order to keep receiving a bid. “We've been to the [NCAA] Tournament before, now we want to achieve the next step and continue building our program at the national level.”
SVC enters the tournament with a 22-6 overall record after posting a 15-3 mark in PAC action. The Bearcats fell to Thomas More, 77-66, in the PAC Championship Game on Saturday evening before earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship.
The Bearcats are led by two-time PAC Player of the Year and First-Team Academic All-American Brittany Sedlock. The 5-9 senior forward leads the conference in scoring (16.6 points per game) and rebounding (10.0 rebounds per game).
“We're really excited. It [making the NCAA Tournament] was a goal of ours from the beginning of the season,” said Sedlock. “We had a couple of tough losses in the middle of the season, but we're happy that we have the chance to make up for them in the National Tournament.”
Junior forward Devin McGrath, a First-Team All-PAC selection, ranks 11th in the conference with 12.3 points per game and third in the league with 8.3 rebounds per contest.
“This is an awesome feeling to make it two years in a row,” said McGrath. “Despite coming off a disappointing loss, we're excited to have another chance to make a good run.”
Saint Vincent senior guard Emily Fenton was named Honorable Mention All-PAC and is tied for 12th in the league in scoring at 11.9 points per game.
For the season, the Bearcats are out-scoring their opponents by 14.6 points per game, 71.0-56.4.
York enters the NCAA Tournament with a 22-5 record after finishing 14-2 in the Capital Athletic Conference. The Spartans are coming off a 50-46 loss in the CAC title game to No. 7 Mary Washington.
York has three players that average double figures in points and more than seven rebounds per game. Senior guard April Sparkman paces the team with 16.3 points per game while also adding 7.7 rebounds a game. Sophomores Kristen Haley and Brittany Hicks average 13.6 and 12.8 points per game, respectively, while Hicks leads the team with 8.9 rebounds per game and Haley pulls down 8.0 boards a contest.
Petruska knows that playing a team that you haven't seen before is a tall task, but he feels his team will be ready for the challenge. “I'm going to meet with our staff and devise a game plan to focus on our strengths. When you get to the National Tournament, everyone is deserving of being there, we want to show that we are too.”
Follow us on Twitter: @SVCPublicity
Like us on Facebook: Saint Vincent College Public Relations