Women's Basketball Takes Center Stage
The 2005 Friendship Cottage Cheese America East Women's Basketball Championship will take place on the University of Hartford campus from Wednesday, March 9, through Saturday, March 12, marking the fourth consecutive year that Hartford is hosting the tournament. All games will be played at the Chase Arena in the Reich Family Pavilion.
The Hawks enter the 10-team tournament as the #2 seed, their best regular-season finish ever. On Saturday (March 5), Hartford set a school record for wins with a 50-42 victory over Albany. The women finished the regular season at 19-8 and 13-5 in America East play, setting school records for both overall and conference wins in a season.
In this week's America East tournament, Head Coach Jennifer Rizzotti and her players are hoping to unseat defending champion Maine, the #1 seed, for the America East title and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The last time the Hawks won the America East championship, in 2002, they were a #5 seed.
The Hartford women will make their first tournament appearance in the quarterfinal round on Thursday, March 10, at 6 p.m.
"We've been able to maintain the tremendous success we had last year, and bring it to a whole new level," said Mike Vigneux, assistant sports information director. The depth of the Hartford team is its greatest strength heading into the tournament, he said.
The Hawks split their two meetings with Maine this season. Hartford beat the Black Bears 53-49 at Maine, but lost 56-51 at home in the Chase Arena.
The America East women's tournament will get under way with two first-round evening games on Wednesday, March 9, beginning at 6 p.m. Quarterfinal games will take place on Thursday, March 10—two games will be played during the afternoon session, beginning at noon, and two games will be played during the evening session, beginning at 6 p.m. The winning teams will face off in two semifinal match-ups beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 11, and the championship will be decided in a 4 p.m. game on Saturday, March 12.
Tickets can be purchased for any individual session or for the entire tournament. Single session ticket prices start at $6 for youths and $12 for adults. To buy tickets, stop by the Athletics Box Office in the Reich Family Pavilion, call the box office at 860.768.4295, or order tickets online at www.hartfordhawks.com or www.tickets.com.
If you want to follow the action but you can't attend the tournament, you can still keep up with the games on radio, television, and the Internet.
Any games in which the Hartford Hawks play will be broadcast live on WWUH radio (91.3 FM or www.wwuh.org). On television, New England Sports Network (NESN) will televise the two semifinal games on tape delay – the first game will air on Friday, March 11, at 11 p.m., and the second game will air on Saturday, March 12, at 1 a.m. NESN will carry the championship game live, on March 12 at 4 p.m.
In addition, you can get live statistics for all the tournament games on the America East website, at www.americaeast.com.