WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — For the first time in five years, the Williams College women's basketball team is going dancing NCAA-style.
Williams earned an at-large berth into the 2020 NCAA Div. III Women's Basketball Tournament, it was announced Monday. It is the 10th time in program history the Ephs have earned an NCAA berth, but the first since 2015.
"Our team has worked so hard this year and I feel like we're playing our best basketball at this point," Ephs' head coach Pat Manning said. "This group of players has never experienced the NCAA Tournament, so I'm just thrilled for them and our seniors especially."
Williams (18-8) will head west to Ithaca, N.Y. for a first-round match-up with Albright College (22-5) Friday night. The Lions lost to Messiah in the championship game of the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Commonwealth Tournament, 78-69. In the other first-round match-up, the host Bombers (22-5), champions of the Liberty League, will battle New England College (21-5).
Williams will tip-off against Albright at 5 p.m. and Ithaca and NEC right after at 7 p.m. There will be single-day general admission ticketing for each of the two days of competition. The prices are as follows: $7 - Adults; $4 - Students/Seniors/Children.
The Ephs finished fourth in the New England Small College Athletic Conference standings with a 6-4 conference record. They defeated Trinity in the NESCAC Tournament quarterfinals at home, 65-56, before falling to then unbeaten and No. 1 Tufts, 69-63 in the semifinals played Saturday. Six of the Ephs eight losses this season have come to teams which qualified for the NCAA Tournament (Tufts-2, Amherst-2, Bowdoin, Smith).