March 5, 2009

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Courtesy of Emmanuel (Mass.) Athletics

AMHERST, Mass. - Emmanuel College will take on the University of Southern Maine in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament. The tournament field of 63 teams was announced on Monday morning. The tournament bracket pairs the 21-7 Saints up against the 22-6 Huskies on Friday night (3/6). Amherst College earned the top seed for the regional and will host both opening round games. The Lord Jeffs of Amherst (25-2) will take on the Babson College Beavers (20-8) in the other opening round match-up. The two winners will square off on Saturday afternoon (3/7) for a trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Emmanuel will be making its 14th NCAA appearance. The Saints earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning their 13th Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Championship. The Saints' opponent, University of Southern Maine, also received an automatic bid to the big dance. The Huskies defeated Eastern Connecticut State University to win their 19th Little East Conference (LEC) Tournament Championship. USM will be making its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance. The Huskies have advanced to the NCAA Final Four five times and have been NCAA National Finalists three times.

USM, out of Gorham, Maine, has four players averaging in double figures in scoring. The Huskies are led by sophomore guard Kaylie DeMillo (Jay, Maine),who is averaging 13.1 points per game. Emmanuel is paced by GNAC Player of the Year Iman Davis (Toms River, N.J.), who leads the Saints in four categories, including points (18.7 ppg), rebounds (7.2 rpg), assists (3.9 apg), and steals (2.9 spg). Fellow 1st-Team All-Conference selection Kristin LeBel (Tolland, Conn.) is netting 16.4 points per game for the Saints.