Mount St. Mary’s Wins NEC Title; earns trip to NCAA Tournament

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EMMITSBURG, Md. (WDVM) – The Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball team won it’s fourth NEC title on Sunday, defeating Wagner 70-38, to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament in San Antonio, TX.

“This is 12 months in the making, and I’m just so proud of our girls,” said head coach, Maria Marchesano. “We went up there last week and got our butts kicked and the girls wanted this match up. They wanted to prove that it was a fluke and that we could beat them, and credit to our girls – they really dug in today and took care of business.”

The Mountaineers found themselves in an early 12-4 hole halfway through the first quarter, but went on a 19-2 run, fueled by Aryna Taylor’s 10 first half points, to take a 10 point lead at the half. Taylor ended the day with a game high 18 points, four rebounds, two steals and a block. Rebecca Lee, who was named the NEC Final MVP, shared that game high putting up 18 points herself and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the tournament and her fifth of the season.

“We get down a little bit, today especially, we got down,” explained Taylor. “We kept pushing and we got out of that hole and then we just kept going, and we kept going, and we kept going as you saw the final score. Once we start going, it’s just hard to stop us.”

Michaela Harrison and Kendall Bresee also in double figures putting up 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Mount outscored Wagner 34-12 in the final two frames to win the NEC title for the first time since 1995 by a final score of 70-38 – the largest margin of victory in the NEC Championship game since 2013, when Quinnipiac beat Saint Francis (Pa.) 72-33.  

The last time Mount made it to the tournament was in 1995 after defeating Saint Francis (Pa.) in the NEC title game, but the Mountaineers would fall in the first round to Alabama.

A tournament victory this year would be the first in program history.

Mount will find out who they will play Monday (March 15) evening during the WNCAA Selection Show. Coverage begins on ESPN at 7 p.m., and will transfer to ESPNU at 8 p.m.  

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