February 23, 2013

UNE, USM women win conference tourneys, clinch NCAA bids

From staff reports

The University of New England and University of Southern Maine women's basketball teams earned automatic bids to the NCAA Division III tournament by winning their conference championships Saturday afternoon.

UNE (24-4) captured the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament championship with a 69-63 win over Salve Regina at Biddeford.

Kelly Coleman scored 15 points, and Beth Suggs had 11 points and 14 rebounds for the top-seeded Nor'easters (24-4), who never trailed.

In the Little East Conference championship game at Gorham, Jordan Grant had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Nicole Garland contributed 18 points, six rebounds and five assists to help USM (26-1) roll past UMass-Dartmouth, 90-66.

Haley Jordan added 17 points, and Rebecca Knight had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Huskies, who led 48-27 at the half. USM will head to the NCAA tournament for the 26th time in 28 seasons since becoming an NCAA program.

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