Can Monmouth Capture Elusive Women’s Hoops Crown or Will Sacred Heart Return to Top?

The NEC Women’s Basketball Championship Game will go nationwide for the fifth consecutive season on ESPNU.

Sacred Heart and Monmouth have met four times prior in NEC Tournament play, each winning twice.

Sacred Heart will contest the NEC Championship Game for the fourth time since joining the league in 1999.  The Pioneers have won in two of their first three title tilt appearances. 

“They’re a special group they just don’t have the hardware to prove it,” said Ed Swanson of his 2011-12 team.

SHU last won the conference crown in 2009 when NEC Player of the Year Callan Taylor was a freshman. 

“I still have that taste in my mouth and this year that was one of our main goals,” said Taylor who earned a spot on the 2009 All-Tournament Team before eventually becoming the NEC’s all-time leader in double-doubles (53).

Meanwhile, Monmouth, which was the 2011 NEC Tournament runner-up, has not won the conference crown since 1987 when they have captured the inaugural NEC Tournament title.

“It hurt,” said junior forward Abby Martin about last year’s title game defeat. “We came so far you could basically touch the trophy and to come up short at the last minute is a painful feeling.”

Martin, who averaged 19.7 points per game to earn 2011 All-Tournament Team honors, and the Hawks will have another shot.

“It’s been a long season… the storybook ending is to get that trophy,” said Martin.

That storybook continues Sunday afternoon on ESPNU.

NortheastConference.TV caught up with the key players and coaches prior to the big day and here’s what they had to say…

 

 

Championship Game Related Articles
Hawks seek first NEC Tournament title since 1987Asbury Park Press (Tony Graham)

SHU’s Taylor plenty tough, plenty goodConnecticut Post (Bill Paxton)

Hawks title chase a familiar path for coachAsbury Park Press (Tony Graham)

Paalvast will be key for Hawks in NEC final Asbury Park Press (Tony Graham)

Palmateer lured mentor out of retirement, now has Monmouth one win from the NCAA tourneyAsbury Park Press (Steve Edelson)

SHU women advance to NEC tournament finalConnecticut Post (Bill Paxton)

Monmouth beat Quinnipiac, move on to title gameAsbury Park Press (Tony Graham) 

SHU women the top seed, but coach believes anything could happenConnecticut Post (Bill Paxton)

 

Tournament Tweet of the Day (Mar. 10)
@CraigCD13 – Bad news, we lose an hour of sleep Saturday night. Good news, we get one hour closer to the #NECWBB Championship Game Sunday 3pm ESPNU!

Come on Craig! Who needs the extra hour of sleep when you can’t sleep anyway due to the anticipation of Sunday’s NEC Championship matchup?

 

Tournament Image of the Day (Mar. 10)

Nellynel_mar7_fullhouse

We went back to our friend, and dare we say it, “Sixth Man Award” candidate, @NellyNel14 for today’s Image of the Day.  Nelly captured this image of the packed house that was LIU Brooklyn’s WRAC on Wednesday night.  Can the Pioneers and their “Heart Attack” fan group match this at the Pitt Center on Sunday?

 

Tournament Tweet of the Day (Mar. 9)
@ColleenWall – S-H-U! S-H-U! #Pioneers back in the ‘ship!! I’ll be there on Sunday! #ThisIsOurTourney

Someone’s excited about Sacred Heart’s return to the NEC WBB Championship Game, ARE YOU?

 

Tournament Image of the Day (Mar. 9)

Liuhugs_brucebeck

New York’s favorite sports anchor Bruce Beck (@BruceBeck4NY) captured this embrace with his smart phone at Wednesday’s NEC men’s title tilt.  If we had to guess a certain @ColleenWall is hoping to capture a similar embrace between Callan Taylor and Gabby Washington come Sunday afternoon. 

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