Women's Basketball

2017 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 | 10 NCAA Tournaments | 10 Conference Titles

NEWMAC Tournament Quarterfinal Preview: Women's Basketball vs. Emerson

NEWMAC Tournament Quarterfinal Preview: Women's Basketball vs. Emerson

NEWMAC Tournament Quarterfinal
No. 3 Women's Basketball vs. No. 6 Emerson
Wednesday, February 21—6 p.m.
Staake Gymnasium—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and Emerson will meet for the ninth time in a series that dates back to the 2013-14 season on Wednesday night. The Beavers are 8-0 all-time against the Lions, which includes seven double-digit victories.

Babson and Emerson will meet in the conference playoffs for the first time.

Junior Payton Ouimette paced four players in double figures with game highs of 18 points and 16 rebounds as Babson defeated Emerson, 78-48, on January 17 in Boston. Classmate Elizabeth Lane finished with 12 points, six boards and four assists, while senior Brenna LeGacy and junior Tea Spellacy both added 11 points for the Beavers. Junior Charlie Boyle scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting to lead the Lions.

Sixth-seeded Emerson (11-14) had its three-game winning streak snapped in a 58-47 loss to WPI on Saturday. Sophomore Quinn Madden scored a team-high 16 points, while Boyle added 14 points and a team-high six rebounds for the Lions, who are making their first NEWMAC Tournament appearance since 2015. Sophomore Kate Foultz (9.8 points, 2.2 reb) is shooting just 21.4 percent in six games this month, Boyle (8.8 pts, 4.6 reb) has reached double figures in four straight games, and junior Natalie Busch (8.8 pts, 3.0 ast) is shooting 42.3 percent from beyond the arc. Emerson's last postseason victory came in the GNAC semifinals back in 2009.

Third-seeded Babson (17-8) enters the postseason with a two-game winning streak after defeating MIT, 56-53, last Wednesday. Lane scored 13 points and Spellacy added 12 for the Beavers, who scored 23 points off of 21 Engineer turnovers. Ouimette (13.6 pts, 11.9 reb) leads the NEWMAC and is tied for 13th nationally with 17 double-doubles, Spellacy (9.0 pts, 2.9 ast) averaged 16.0 points over the final two games of the regular season, and junior Katherine Tamulionis (8.1 pts, 2.5 ast) is shooting 45.8 percent in conference play. The Green and White, which captured a share of its third consecutive regular season title, has reached the NEWMAC semifinals in nine consecutive seasons going back to 2009.

The Green and White, which is 18-2 in the conference tournament since 2009, has captured seven of the last nine NEWMAC championships. If the Beavers are going to continue their postseason success it will be with a new group taking on a leading role as only Tamulionis, Lane, Ouimette and senior Brenna LeGacy have started in either a conference or NCAA Tournament game.

Ouimette, who ranks 18th in Division III in rebounds per game, needs just two on Wednesday to become the seventh player in program history to surpass 300 in a single season. Additionally, her 117 offensive boards are the fourth most by a Babson player going back to 1994, and she is currently one of three players along with Sarah Collins '13 (2012, 2013) and Jennifer Narlee '17 (2017) to average better than 11.5 rebounds in a season dating back to 1978.

In eight games against the six other NEWMAC Tournament participants, Babson is holding its opponents to just 55.0 points and 0.78 points per possession. The Green and White is also forcing a turnover on 27 percent of all possessions and its foes are shooting just 35 percent overall and 23.9 percent from beyond the arc.

The Beavers are 15-4 this season when outscoring their opponents at the free throw line.