Amherst Winter Teams Set for Huge Weekend of Postseason Play

CelebrationThe Amherst College women's basketball team is ready to make noise in the program's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. 

AMHERST, MA – Although spring sports get underway this weekend, the Amherst College winter teams are still going strong in their respective postseasons. While the Lord Jeff men’s and women’s ice hockey teams will continue their runs at NESCAC titles this Saturday, the men’s and women’s basketball teams will begin their quests for national championships.

Women’s Basketball
After finishing last season with a 12-13 overall record and failing to advance to the NESCAC semifinals, the 14th-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team has won a program-best 25 games, earned the program’s first NESCAC title and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time.

The Lord Jeffs (25-2) will take on North Atlantic Conference champion Becker College (18-10) in the opening round of the national tournament Friday at 6 p.m. at regional host Bridgewater State College. The host Bears (22-4)—winners of the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference championship—will face Bowdoin College (18-8) in Friday’s opening round, with the winner advancing to play either Amherst or Becker in Saturday’s second round at 5 p.m.

Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $3 for senior citizens, students with a valid ID and children ages 2 to 13. Children under 2 are free. Tickets will be sold on site, with doors at the Tinsley Center opening at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. No live broadcast is available for Friday’s and Saturday’s games. *FULL TOURNAMENT BRACKET

Men’s Basketball
Despite falling to Bowdoin College in the NESCAC Championship semifinals, the third-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team will host the Bloodhounds of John Jay College (14-15) in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament Saturday at 7 p.m. The Lord Jeffs (23-3) drew one of five first-round byes, while John Jay won the CUNYAC championship before defeating Moravian in the opening round of the national tournament. The Jeffs are 12-1 at home (20-11 overall) in NCAA Tournament history, as this is the program’s 11th appearance.

Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $3 for senior citizens, students with a valid ID and children ages 2 to 13. Children under 2 are free. Tickets will be sold on site, with doors at LeFrak Gymnasium opening at 5 p.m. Saturday’s game will feature a radio broadcast on WAMH 89.3 FM, which may also be streamed over the internet pending recent technical difficulties. Further information will be made available on the Amherst Athletics Website prior to the start of the game. Live statistics will also be available. *FULL TOURNAMENT BRACKET * LIVE STATISTICS * LIVE RADIO BROADCAST

Team
Amherst has a NESCAC Women's Ice Hockey Championship title to defend this weekend. 

Women’s Ice Hockey
Amherst College will battle for a second-straight NESCAC title this weekend when the Jeffs travel to Middlebury, Vermont for the final rounds of the 2008 NESCAC Women’s Ice Hockey Championship at Kenyon Arena. Top seed and host Middlebury will face fourth seed Colby in the first semifinal on Saturday, March 8 at 1 p.m., followed by second seed Amherst taking on third seed Trinity at 4 p.m. The NESCAC Championship concludes with the final on Sunday, March 9 at 1 p.m. Tickets for Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s championship are $5 for adults and $2 for children and students. Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s final can be viewed live online courtesy of D3cast.

Fourth-ranked Amherst (18-3-4, 12-0-4 NESCAC) advanced to the semifinals for the second year in a row with a 5-1 victory over Bowdoin in the first round. The second-seeded Jeffs are hoping to repeat last year’s magical tournament run which saw them win three consecutive overtime contests, including the longest game in Division III women’s ice hockey history, en route to their first NESCAC crown. Amherst is arguably the hottest team in the conference at the moment, owning a 13-0-2 record in its last 15 games and allowing more than one goal only twice in that stretch. A pair of wins this weekend would not only guarantee the Jeffs another title and trip to the national tournament, but it would also tie the program mark of 20 victories set last season. *LIVE WEBCAST

Men’s Ice Hockey
Fourth-seeded Amherst College will continue its pursuit of the program’s first NESCAC title this weekend when the Jeffs travel to Colby College for the remaining rounds of 2008 NESCAC Men’s Ice Hockey Championship at Alfond Arena in Waterville, Maine. Semifinal action begins Saturday at 1 p.m. with Colby taking to the ice against sixth seed Trinity, followed by four-time defending NESCAC champion and second seed Middlebury facing fourth seed Amherst at 4 p.m. The NESCAC Championship concludes with the final on Sunday, March 9 at 1 p.m. Tickets for Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s championship are $5 for adults and $2 for children and students. Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s final can be viewed live online courtesy of D3cast.  

Winners of three consecutive NESCAC crowns and seven of the last eight, second-seeded Middlebury (17-6-2, 12-5-2 NESCAC) comes into the weekend with a 20-1 all-time tournament record.  Fourth-seeded Amherst (14-8-3, 11-6-2 NESCAC) needed overtime to get by Connecticut College in the quarterfinals, as the Lord Jeffs built a 2-0 lead last Saturday only to witness the Camels tie the game late in the third. Amherst senior defender Mike McIntosh (Soldotna, AK) put his team in the conference semifinals for the second year in a row by potting the game-winner, delivering head coach Jack Arena his 300th career victory in the process.

The Jeffs will meet the Panthers this Saturday for the second time in roughly two weeks after Middlebury claimed a 4-2 win on Feb. 22 in Middlebury, Vermont. The only contest between the two in playoff history came in the 2001 finals, a 4-3 overtime victory for Middlebury. *LIVE WEBCAST