INDIANAPOLIS — The Tusculum College women’s basketball team has punched its ticket for the 2010 NCAA Division II Tournament and will be the No. 7 seed in the Southeast Regional, hosted by Lander University in Greenwood, S.C.
The Pioneers (20-9), who are making their third straight NCAA postseason appearance, will open first round action this Friday against second-seeded Clayton State University (24-6). The game will be at 2:30 p.m. at Finis Horne Arena on the campus of Lander University in Greenwood, S.C. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $3 for children and students with a valid ID.
Tusculum won Sunday’s Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament championship game by defeating Newberry College, 67-55 to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It was the Pioneers’ first SAC Tournament championship in school history.
Friday’s first round game with Clayton State will mark the second time the Pioneers and Lakers have met this year. CSU edged Tusculum 87-79 in overtime at the OrthoCarolina Classic in Wingate, N.C. on Dec. 19. It will also be a rematch of last season’s second round regional contest with CSU as the Lakers posted a 79-68 win over the Pioneers in Hickory, N.C. The Pioneers are 0-4 all-time against Clayton State.
The Pioneers are riding a six-game winning streak entering this year’s NCAA Tournament and have also won 11 of its last 13 outings for first-year head coach Adell Harris.
Leading the charge for Tusculum is South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year Jasmine Gunn. The 4-11 junior guard from Nashville, Tenn., is averaging 20.7 points, five assists and three steals per game. She is the only player in NCAA Division II this season to be ranked in the top 25 nationally in points, assists and steals. In her three SAC Tournament games, she averaged 24.7 points per contest, earning her SAC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
Clayton State is making their sixth straight NCAA postseason appearance as the 24th-ranked Lakers won the Peach Belt Conference Tournament by knocking off 18th-ranked Francis Marion University, 94-75 in Sunday’s PBC title game. Clayton State is the defending Southeast Regional champion as the Lakers advanced to last year’s NCAA II Elite Eight.
The winner of the Tusculum/Clayton State game will advance to the second round and face either No. 3 seed Francis Marion or sixth seeded Newberry.
Hosting this year’s regional is Lander as the Bearcats will open against No. 8 seed Anderson University. SAC regular season champion Lenoir-Rhyne University will be the No. 4 seed in the regional and they will take on fifth-seeded Carson-Newman College in the opening round.
Please visit the Tusculum College Athletic web site for more information.
- NCAA -
2010 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional
Hosted by Lander University ▪ Greenwood, S.C.
No. 1 Lander vs. No. 8 Anderson (S.C.)
No. 4 Lenoir-Rhyne vs. No. 5 Carson-Newman
No. 3 Francis Marion vs. No. 6 Newberry
No. 2 Clayton State vs. No. 7 Tusculum