SCRANTON – The University of Scranton women’s basketball team, featuring the backcourt combination of JB Hoops grads Bridgette Mann and Emily Sheehan, is back at home this weekend in the Sweet 16 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III tournament.
Two rounds of games are scheduled for Scranton’s John Long Center Friday and Saturday to determine one of the entries in next weekend’s Final Four in Rochester, Minn.
Mann led the Lady Royals in scoring on the season as a whole and in the first three games of the postseason – the two Landmark Conference tournament games and the national tournament opener. Sheehan, more known as a defensive stopper, was the second-leading scorer March 3 with 14 points in a 55-46 victory over Cabrini College that allowed Scranton to reach the Sweet 16 for the third straight year and fourth time in five seasons.
Scranton (28-1) takes a 23-game winning streak and No. 10 ranking nationally into Friday’s 7 p.m. game against fifth-ranked Bowdoin (26-2).
No. 15 Messiah (27-2) and No. 8 Tufts (25-4) open the weekend in Friday’s 5 p.m. game. Tufts ended Scranton’s season the last two years.
Friday’s winners meet Saturday at 6 p.m.
Mann, a junior guard from Wallenpaupack, averages a team-leading 15.4 points on the season. She had 20 points in a 67-45 Landmark semifinal win over Moravian, 17 in a 59-58, overtime win over Juniata in the Landmark final and 14 to match Katie Feehery for team-high in a 68-48 tournament-opening win over Keuka.
“I just looked for opportunities that the offense gave me and what I thought was a good shot or finding open people,” Mann said in a postgame press conference after the win over Keuka.
Mann was named Landmark Conference Player of the Year this season after also being a first-team conference all-star as a sophomore.
The nation’s leading foul shooter at the time at 89.0 percent, Mann led the Landmark in 3-point percentage at 40.7. She shoots 40.5 percent from the floor. Her free throw percentage now stands at 86.8.
Mann leads the Lady Royals in assists with 3.1 per game and averages 4.5 rebounds.
Sheehan, a sophomore from Dunmore, averages 7.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists. She shoots 42.6 percent from the floor, 40.7 from 3-point range and 79.0 from the line.
Tickets are $7 for adults. Tickets for students, children ages 2 and up and seniors over the age of 61 are $4.