CALDWELL, N.J. (March 9, 2019) -- The top-two seeds in the South Division were victorious on Saturday night, thus setting up a monster showdown on Sunday in the final of the 2018-19 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Women's Basketball Championship at the Newman Center in Caldwell, N.J. University of the Sciences (S#1) got the women's semis started with a 70-54 triumph over South No. 3 Georgian Court University, followed by Jefferson (S#2) taking down Goldey-Beacom College (S#4) by a count of 80-56. USciences and Jefferson will be meeting for the third time this season, as Sunday's championship final will tip at 2:30 p.m., at the Newman Center on the Caldwell University campus in Caldwell, N.J.
USciences and Jefferson split their two-game regular season series with both teams winning on their respective home court. Jefferson got the better of the Devils in the season's first contest back on Jan. 3, by a score of 67-61. Alynna Williams led the Rams with 22 points in the win, while Jessica Kaminski and Caitlyn Cunningham followed with 17 and 16 points, respectively. USciences got 16 points from Taylor Hamm, as Alex Thomas and Jordan Vitelli logged 13. That win helped propel Jefferson to first in the CACC South Divison at the time and all the way up to No. 2 in the national rankings.
However, USciences was ready when the two teams met in Feb. 5, as the Devils pounced on Jefferson by a margin of 70-59. Thomas and Irisa Ye each poured in 22 points for the Devils, while Cunningham also tossed in 22 in the setback. That win enabled USciences to leap the Rams in the national poll, as the Devils are currently ranked fourth in the nation and No. 1 in the latest NCAA Division II East Region rankings. Jefferson checks in at the No. 3 in the latest regional poll.
The rubber match on Sunday will determine which team earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament at a site to be determined. Both teams have at least secured at-large bids to the tournament, but the potential to host the regional or acquire a higher seed are also in play during the championship contest. It also marks the second-consecutive year the two teams will be meeting in the conference final, as USciences won last season's meeting. The Devils are seeking their third-consecutive CACC crown, while Jefferson is aiming for its second CACC title in the last four seasons and first since 2016.
S#1 USCIENCES 70, S#3 GEORGIAN COURT 54 / Boxscore
Irisa Ye led three Devils in double-figures with 22 points, and Jordan Vitelli and Alex Thomas followed with 14 and 11, respectively. Carna Prokic led Georgian Court with 14 points, as the Lions gave a spirited effort despite the setback. USciences was 15-of-16 at the free throw line commited just eight turnovers to limit any change of GCU pulling off the upset. Safiyyah Lee pulled down a team-high eight rebounds for the Lions, as they outrebounded the Devils by a margin of 37-34.
S#2 JEFFERSON 80, S#4 GOLDEY-BEACOM 56 / Boxscore
Four of Jefferson's starters scored in double-figures, led by Caitlyn Cunningham and Beverly Kum with 18 points apiece. Alynna Williams followed with 17 and Jessica Kaminski chipped in 16. The Rams shot 48 percent from the field and held a 41-38 advantage on the glass, while also forcing G-B into 20 turnovers. Erin Maher turned in an impressive all-around game for Jefferson with 11 rebounds, six steals, five assists, four points and two blocks. Amanda McGrogan paced the Lightning with 17 points.
ABOUT THE CACC
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), Nyack College, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.