ARLINGTON, Va. - The top-seeded Marymount University women's basketball team is set to host fifth-seeded Immaculata University on Thursday night for the Atlantic East Conference tournament semifinals. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., in the Converse Family Fieldhouse.
How We Got Here:
The Saints (20-5) sealed up the top seed in the tournament after knocking off Cabrini University last Saturday, 66-50. The victor of the game was going to take the No. 1 spot, and Marymount got it done on its home court to make up for the three-point loss it suffered to the Cavaliers the first time they met up this season. They were guided by the efforts of freshman Katie McShea with a game-high 23 points and senior Tyffani McQueen with 19 points, who notched her 1,000-career point on her senior day.
How They Got Here:
The Mighty Macs (8-18) earned the fifth spot in the tournament with a 4-8 record, traveling to fourth-seeded Neumann University in the first round on Monday night. Immaculata came out hot and remained it for most of the game, outscoring the Knights in three of the four quarters, including a 22-point fourth. Behind senior Amber Ballinger's team-high 19 points and four three-pointer, the Mighty Macs pulled the upset, 66-56, to advance to Thursday night's semifinals.
Last Time We Met:
The last time the two teams clashed was in the Converse Family Fieldhouse on February 2, as the Saints used three 22-point quarters to roll to a dominating 85-54 performance. McShea set a career high in the game with 33 points behind 10-of-18 shooting, and 13-of-15 from the free-throw line. She added a double-double with a game-high 14 rebounds. Four of the five starters for the Saints scored in double figures, while senior Abby Fisher came off the bench for nine points. For the Mighty Macs, Ballinger went 5-for-7 from three-point range on her way to a team-high 21 points for the day.
Marymount had a regular-season sweep of the Mighty Macs, outscoring them in the two games by 55 total points, 149-94. They have shot 47 percent through the 80 minutes of play, knocking in 55 baskets. Defensively, the Saints have forced Immaculata into 39 total turnovers, while holding them to 32-percent shooting from the floor.
Prior to the tip, the Saints will recognize the career milestone of McQueen, who collected her 1,000 point in the regular-season finale last Saturday against Cabrini. In the final few minutes of the game, she stole the ball from the Cavaliers and sprinted the full court for a contested finish at the other end to reach the milestone. She finished the game with 19 points, and now has 1,001 career points.
The winner of the semifinals would advance to the conference championship game on Saturday, February 23. Pending a victory by the Saints, as the top seed, they'd host the title game in the Converse Family Fieldhouse.