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Undefeated FDU-Florham Women in Div. 3 Final Four(March 18, 2014)
Madison, NJ (PRWEB) March 18, 2014
At 31-0, the 2013-14 FDU-Florham Devils women's basketball team is not only the most successful team in the program's 34-year history but also the only remaining undefeated Division III basketball team in the country.
The Devils will take on the Jumbos of Tufts University (30-1) on Friday, March 21st, with start time slated for 6 p.m. (EST) at the Quandt Fieldhouse on the campus of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The victor will take on the winner of the other national semi-final game between between the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Whitman University.
Led by the winningest coach in program history, Marc Mitchell, the Devils are prepared for their first-ever Final Four appearance. Mitchell, who was recently named All-Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year by D3hoops.com, also navigated the Devils to their second-consecutive Freedom Conference Championship this season.
FDU-Florham kicked off this record-breaking season at the Tip-off Tournament at Hunter College in New York, N.Y. The Devils defeated St. Joseph's College (Long Island) and host Hunter College to claim the weekend-title. FDU-Florham followed that trip with the Fred Raizk Tournament in Wilmington, Ohio. The Devils knocked off Rose Hulman Institute and Case Western Reserve University to claim the Raizk title.
After a flawless regular season, which included a perfect 14-0 record in Freedom Conference games, the Devils claimed the conference championship by defeating Delaware Valley College and DeSales University.
The Devils earned the right to host the NCAA Tournament's opening rounds and sectional rounds and did not disappoint. In the opening round, FDU-Florham held a 50-22 advantage at intermission and cruised to a 106-45 win over Wells College. In the win, five Devils totaled double-digit scoring efforts. Freshman point guard Alyssa McDonough (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville) came off of the bench to contribute 18 points, six assists and six rebounds in the game.
In round two, the Devils faced a formidable opponent in Messiah College. The game was tied 28-28 at the break but the Devils opened the second stanza with an 11-2 run and never looked back. Ultimately, FDU-Florham claimed the contest 79-66, led by 29 points and 16 rebounds from Shalette Brown (Somerset, N.J.)
Last Friday, March 14th, the Devils hosted Baldwin Wallace University in the "Sweet 16" round. The Devils found themselves down by two at halftime but outscored the Yellow Jackets 44-18 in the second half, en route to a 66-42 victory. In the win, Kyra Dayon (Trenton, N.J.) notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while junior guard Leigh-Ann Lively (Bangor, Pa.) came off of the bench to spark the Devils with 13 points and knocked down 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
In their last contest, the Devils defeated New Jersey-rival Montclair State University 73-53. Once again, FDU-Florham trailed at the break but exploded to outscore the Red Hawks 49-23 in the decisive second half. Kyra Dayon totaled a game-high 22 points, while Shalette Brown finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds against her former team.
All-Mid-Atlantic Region Player of the Year, Kyra Dayon (Trenton, N.J.) paced the unbeaten Devils all season. The junior guard was named Freedom Conference Player of the Year earlier this month, and averaged 14.0 points, seven rebounds and 3.2 assists and 2.5 assists per game this season. Earlier this season, she became the 14th Devils women's basketball to join the 1,000 career-point club.
Sophomore forward Shalette Brown (Somerset, N.J.) has dominated on the glass all season and led the Devils by hauling in 8.9 rebounds per game and totaled a team-high 12 double-doubles. The sophomore transferred to Madison this season after a freshman campaign at Montclair State University in which she was named New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Rookie of the Year and All-Region Rookie of the Year.
Senior point guard Jalessa Lewis(Irvington, N.J.) runs the show for the Devils and is the key to coach Mitchell's high-octane attack. Lewis was named All-Freedom Conference second team this season, after pacing the Devils in assists with 3.3 per game.
All together, the Devils feature a balanced attack, which has had nine different players lead the team in scoring in a game this season. Nationally, the Devils ranked amongst the leaders in many categories including scoring margin (25.3), turnover margin (9.2), and scoring offense (80.6 ppg). The Devils also held a wide rebounding margin over their opponents at 10 boards per game.
This is the Devils second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Last season, the Devils made their first-ever appearance but failed to advance past the first round.
Tufts has advanced to the NCAA Sectional round in each of the last three seasons after winning first and second round games at home. They are led by Head Coach Carla Berube, who guided the Jumbos to three straight NCAA berths from 2008-10. The 2008 team advanced to the "Elite 8," the furthest any team has gone. This season, the team won their first-ever conference title after completing a perfect 10-0 campaign in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
The Jumbos, who have hosted NCAA first and second round games three-straight years, were home for the Sectional Rounds for the first time this season. In the opening round, the Jumbos defeated St. Joseph's (ME) 66-43. Junior point guard Kelsey Morehead led Tufts with 17 points and four assists, while classmate Hayley Kanner finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and five steals in the win.
In their second round contest, Tufts faced off against University of New England in a battle of 27-win teams. The Jumbos prevailed with a thrilling 57-54 overtime victory, thanks to senior captain Liz Moynihan's desperation, three-pointer at the buzzer. Tufts proceeded to take on Castleton College in the "Sweet 16" round and put forth a dominant defensive effort, limiting the Spartans to just 33 points on 23.5 percent shooting. The Jumbos prevailed with a 55-35 victory and advanced to take on Ithaca College.
Tufts led Ithaca 58-50 with 1:16 remaining and then had to withstand three three-pointers in the final 64 seconds and a last-second drive to the basket by the Bombers that bounced off of the rim to secure the victory. The Jumbos managed to hang on for an exciting 61-59 victory to advance to Stevens Point.
Junior Hayley Kanner, leads Tufts in scoring with 12.7 points per game and is one of the nation's top shot blockers with 87 (2.8 per game). Hannah Foley does a little bit of everything for the Jumbos, scoring at 10.1 ppg and leading the team with 49 three-pointers (39.5 percentage) and 45 steals. Junior point guard Kelsey Morehead, the team's only All-NESCAC first-teamer, navigates coach Berube's offense.
Nationally, Tufts is fifth in Division III for fewest turnovers per game (12.3) and Morehead ranks third with a 2.75 assists to turnovers ratio.
Contact: Bryan Jackson bjackson(at)fdu(dot)edu (FDU-Florham Sports Information Director)
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/FDUDevils/basketball/prweb11681546.htm.