The two-time defending regional champion Bentley women's basketball team will host the NCAA Division 2 East Regional this weekend after capturing its third straight Northeast-10 Conference playoff championship.
Top-seeded Bentley (28-1), ranked third nationally, will face eighth-seeded LIU Post (19-9) in the first round on Friday. LIU is an at-large selection out of the East Coast Conference. Behind 17 points apiece from junior Lauren Battista, the tourney's Most Outstanding Player, and Bakolas, the Falcons captured their third straight NE-10 crown, beating visiting Assumption, 68-59, on Sunday afternoon.
The other automatic qualifiers are third-seeded Dowling College (25-3), which earned the ECC title, and fourth-seeded Holy Family University (27-2), champion of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
The at-large selections include three Northeast-10 teams: second-seeded Stonehill College (23-4), fifth-seeded Assumption College (22-7), and seventh-seeded Franklin Pierce University (18-10). Rounding out the field will be the sixth-seeded New York Institute of Technology (23-5), which will be making its first ever appearance in the NCAA field.
Bentley, which owns 12 regional titles since 1989, will be making its record 30th appearance in the NCAA tournament and its seventh straight. The winner of the Regional will advance to the Elite Eight in San Antonio March 26-29.
NCAA Division 2 East Regional
Friday, March 15
#3 Dowling (25-3) vs. #6 New York Inst. of Technology, (23-5), 12
#2 Stonehill (23-4) vs. #7 Franklin Pierce (18-10), 2:30
#1 Bentley (28-1) vs. #8 LIU Post (19-9), 6
#4 Holy Family (27-2) vs. #5 Assumption (22-7), 8:30
Saturday, March 16
#3-#6 winner vs. #2-#7 winner, 5
#1-#8 winner vs. #4-#5 winner, 7
Monday, March 18, 7 p.m.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell