SUNYIT to host NEAC tourney

MARCY, N.Y. (WKTV) - SUNYIT will be the host site of the 2012 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Women's Basketball Championship Tournament semifinals and finals this Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26 after the Wildcat women's basketball team clinched the top overall seed of the six-team tournament.

The SUNYIT Wildcats earned the No. 1 overall seed by finishing atop the NEAC North Division with a 15-2 conference record, while also handing NEAC South Division champion Penn State Harrisburg its only conference loss of the season with a 73-68 victory in the two teams' crossover contest back on February 7.  SUNYIT also won its last four conference contests to seal the deal and finish one game ahead of the Keuka College Storm, who finished second in the division at 14-3 (16-5 overall) behind a six-game winning streak of their own.  Finishing in third place were the SUNY Cobleskill Fighting Tigers, who nabbed the final playoff spot out of the North by winning its last three conference games and finishing with a 10-7 record in the NEAC (14-11 overall).

In the South Division, Penn State Harrisburg earned the second overall seed in the tournament after finishing the regular season 17-1 in the NEAC and 19-6 overall, which were both program bests.  The Nittany Lions will also be entering the playoffs riding a school-record 14-game win streak.  Securing the division's other two playoff spots were the College of Saint Elizabeth Screaming Eagles, who finished in second place with a 13-5 conference record (16-9 overall), and the Lancaster Bible College Chargers, who won five straight conference contests to finish in third at 11-7 (14-11 overall).

As the division winners, SUNYIT and Harrisburg both earned automatic bids to the semifinal round of the tournament.  The remaining four teams competed in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday, with Keuka hosting SUNY Cobleskill and Saint Elizabeth hosting Lancaster Bible. 

In the former contest, Keuka outlasted SUNY Cobleskill in a hard-fought contest, 50-48, to advance to the semifinal contest against Penn State Harrisburg. In the latter, Lancaster Bible upset the home Eagles of Saint Elizabeth 65-57, and will advance to face host SUNYIT in the tournament semifinals on Saturday.

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