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NCAA Preview: Women's Basketball Contests First Round Friday at Baldwin Wallace

NCAA Preview: Women's Basketball Contests First Round Friday at Baldwin Wallace

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College women's basketball team opens up its third consecutive NCAA tournament run on Friday, March 6 in Berea, Ohio, taking on the first and second round host, No. 9 Baldwin-Wallace, at 7 p.m at the Ursprung Gymnasium. The first semifinal, between No. 18 Chicago and La Roche, is slated for 5 p.m, with the winners of each contest facing off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 7. 

Haverford supporters can find all the pertinent information about the regional, including game times, ticketing information, video streaming, and live stat links all weekend long via the Baldwin Wallace Tournament Central page.

Baldwin-Wallace will be providing live video broadcasts throughout the weekend, with commentary for each contest. A student-led audio broadcast will also be provided via Baldwin-Wallace's website. Live video links as well as live stats for the entire weekend will also be available via the tournament central page and the links on

The Fords came away with their second straight Centennial Conference championship after earning hosting privileges in the conference tournament with a program-best 18-2 conference record. With the top seed in hand, the Fords dispatched Dickinson in the conference semifinal before taking down Gettysburg in the championship contest at Gooding '84 Arena. A frenzied home crowd saw Haverford outscore Gettysburg 30-18 in the second half, erasing a 14-0 Bullets run to begin the contest and stunning the Bullets for the third conference crown in program history. Anna-Sophia Capizzi was named tournament MVP after scoring 43 points and adding six three-pointers in consecutive wins to chase down the title. 

The Centennial Conference champions were well represented in the annual release of the Centennial Conference awards on Wednesday morning, with three Haverford players earning All-Centennial Conference recognition. Senior guard Anna-Sophia Capizzi and head Coach Bobbi Morgan picked up Centennial Conference Player and Coach of the Year honors while Julianna Clark (second team) and Megan Furch (honorable mention) were named to the All-Conference squads. Capizzi is Haverford's first Player of the Year, while Morgan takes home CC Coach of the Year for the third time in her career (2011-12, 2013-14). 

A cornerstone for a team that rattled off a program-record 11 consecutive victories from January 15 to February 19, Capizzi started all 27 contests and logged 30 or more minutes on 18 separate occasions, as Haverford posted a program-best 18 conference wins. The biology major currently holds the program record for points in a single season (526), eclipsing that mark against Johns Hopkins in the regular season finale on February 22. Previously, Capizzi etched her name into the Haverford record books by scoring her 1,000th career point against Muhlenberg on February 12, also taking over the program single-season record for three-pointers in the process. Capizzi has 78 three-pointers this season and is currently sixth in Haverford history in total career points (1104). 

Haverford is appearing in the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in the history of the program. Last season, the Fords reached the second round after a resounding victory over Rosemont in a first-round game on the Medford, Mass. campus of Tufts, before falling to the host Jumbos in a spirited second round matchup. In 2018, Haverford traveled to Ashland, Va. and the campus of Randolph-Macon, falling to No. 18 Christopher Newport in a first-round matchup. In 2014, Haverford traveled to Ithaca College for the first and second round contests, besting Rhode Island College in the first round before falling to the host Bombers in the second round pairing.

Haverford's vaunted defensive effort was on display all season, frustrating opponents to the point that "trying to score on Haverford is like swimming through oatmeal", as described by Gordon Mann of Haverford backed up that high praise all season long, currently ranking second in the nation in scoring defense (46.3) and 10th in field goal percentage defense (31.8). First year Cortlyn Morris ranks 23rd in the nation in blocked shots (66) and 33rd in blocked shots per game (2.44). 

In addition to the defensive prowess of the Haverford squad, Capizzi ranks as one of the most prolific scorers in all of Division III, as her 19.5 points per game is currently 28th in the nation. The Chevy Chase, Md. product ranks 14th in Division III in three-pointers made (78) and is 21st in three-pointers made per contest (2.89). Clark is also near the top of the three-point leaderboard, as she ranks 61st in three-pointers made (85) and 92nd in threes per game (2.37). 

The Yellow Jackets (26-2) check in at a program-best No. 9 ranking in the poll. Baldwin Wallace has won 12 contests in a row and are an unblemished 15-0 on their home court this season after capturing their first Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) championship since 2015 with a win over John Carroll on Saturday. The squad is one of the most accurate from the free-throw line, as they rank third in Division III in free-throw percentage (77.4). Threes will be flying on both sides as BW is currently 23rd in three-pointers made per contest (8.4). The Yellow Jackets have five players averaging more than eight or more points per contest, with Riley Schill (11.6 ppg) and Hannah Fecht (10.6) leading the charge. A balanced and deep squad, Baldwin Wallace has 10 players averaging 10 or more minutes per game. 

Haverford is making its first trip to Ohio in program history. The Fords have never faced off with Baldwin Wallace or La Roche, and have met with Chicago on just one occasion, as the Maroons visited Haverford's Alumni Field House in 1999. Chicago came away with a 61-41 victory in that meeting more than 21 years ago.

Haverford is receiving votes in both the latest and Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Poll. Haverford was also slotted sixth in the final Mid-Atlantic regional rankings. Baldwin Wallace comes into the weekend as the second ranked team in the Great Lakes Region, and potential second round opponent Chicago is slotted second in the Central region.