2012 Little East Men's Basketball Pairings Announced
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Three Little
East men’s basketball teams had an opportunity to claim the
regular-season championship this afternoon, and when the dust
settled, Eastern Connecticut State University sat atop the mountain
for the first time in program history. The Warriors captured the
regular-season title with an 11-3 mark, and earned the right to
host the semifinals and finals of the 2012 Little East tournament
at the Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium between February 24 -25.
Western Connecticut, Rhode Island College and Keene State College finished in a three-way tie for second in the conference standings, one game behind Eastern. The Colonials earned the No.2 seed by virtue of a 3-1 mark against the Anchormen and Owls, while Rhode Island College posted a 2-2 record to relegate Keene State to fourth. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Plymouth State University complete the six-team championship field.
Under the guidance of Bill Geitner, the Warriors established a new program record for single-season conference victories (11), putting an additional win between the previous record holder (2011 squad). Eastern Connecticut (20-5) completed the campaign with a 20-5 record, marking the third straight season with at least 20 victories. The current Warriors also established a new standard for single-season winning percentage (.800). Eastern Connecticut ranks among the top teams in Division III in scoring defense (8th, 58.1 ppg) and scoring margin (23rd, 13.2). Senior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, N.Y.), the two-time Little East Defensive Player of the Year, leads the defensive effort for the Warriors with 42 steals. Eastern Connecticut will await the winner between the Owls and Corsairs at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 24.
Western Connecticut (20-5) is making its third straight appearance as the No.2 seed in the conference tournament. The Colonials closed strong down the stretch with a 5-1 mark in its past six games, including victories over Eastern Connecticut and Keene State, to earn the tie-breaker. Western Connecticut sports one of the most prolific offensive attacks in the country, averaging 82.2 points per game. Senior guard DaQuan Brooks (Atlanta, Ga.) is ranked second in the nation in scoring (28.6) and seventh in 3-point field goal made per game (3.5). The Colonials will square off against the winner of the Rhode Island College and Plymouth State first-round game at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Feb 24.
The conference will sponsor two first-round matchups on Tuesday, February 21. Third-seeded Rhode Island College (20-5) will host sixth-seeded Plymouth State (9-15) at 7 p.m., while fourth-seeded Keene State (18-7) will welcome fifth-seeded UMass Dartmouth (13-12) to the Owl Athletic Complex at approximately 7:30 p.m. Fans unable to attend a first-round matchup can watch all the action live on LittleEast.tv and LittleEast.mobi. The hosting institution will also provide real-time statistics for fans to follow along with the play-by-play call.
Formed in 1986, the Little East serves as New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. Featuring 19 championship sports, the Little East sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes. Our eight state colleges and universities dedicate themselves to an ongoing fulfillment of the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship, and citizenship.
|2012 Little East Men's Basketball Championship|
|First Round: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012|
|#6 Plymouth State University||at||#3 Rhode Island College||7 p.m.|
|#5 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth||at||#4 Keene State College||7:30 p.m.|
|Semifinal Round: Friday, Feb. 24, 2012|
|Winner #5/#4||at||#1 Eastern Connecticut State University||5:30 p.m.|
|Winner #6/#3||vs.||#2 Western Connecticut State University||7:30 p.m.|
|Championship Round: Friday, Feb. 25, 2012|
|Semifinal Winner #1||vs.||Semifinal Winner #2||5 p.m.|