Marshfield, Mass. – Winners of six of their last eight contests, Dean College has been seeded fifth in the 2019 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball championship it was announced late Sunday by the conference office.
The Bulldogs (12-13) will travel to fourth-seeded Eastern Nazarene (18-7) for a quarterfinal showdown with the Lions on Tuesday, February 19 at 7:00 PM.
It will mark the rubber match of the season series between the two squads who each won on their home court during the regular season.
Eastern Nazarene won the meeting in Quincy, 70-59, back in late November using a balanced scoring attack. Dean got revenge by taking a 63-59 victory in January behind 27 points from Iindia Pina (Carver, Mass.).
Overall, the Bulldogs enter Tuesday's matchup with the league's most explosive scoring duo in Pina (18.1) and freshman Makayla Rudder (18.0). In addition to her point output, Pina leads the league in steals per game (4.2), while Rudder is a double-double machine with 12 so far this season – including in both of the games against the Lions this season.
The Lions, meanwhile, are one of the league's best defensive teams, ranking second in points allowed per game (53.1). Offensively, they only have one player – Kyra Fleharty – who averages double figures (13.4), but they have ten players who have played 23 or more games this season, allowing for a more balanced approach.
The winner of this quarterfinal matchup will face the winner of the quarterfinal contest between No. 8 Southern Vermont and No. 1 New England College on Thursday, February 21 at 7:00 PM at the site of the highest remaining seed.