The William Paterson University Women’s Basketball Team was ranked 3rd in the NCAA Division III Atlantic Region standings posted on February 28th.
The Pioneers finished the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 26-4. William Paterson met Lebanon Valley and lost 83-61.
The Pioneers’ Season
The Pioneers met Lebanon Valley in the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 matchup in the hopes of winning and making it to the Elite Eight. Lebanon Valley wanted the same thing and defeated the Pioneers 83-61.
Trailing at halftime, the Pioneers quickly made it a two-point game 35-33 with an 8-2 run, but Lebanon Valley went on their own 10-5 run half way through the second half. With 10:16 left in the game, Lebanon Valley was able to get a comfortable 8-point lead off several three-point shots.
They continued scoring and scored the next 13 points during a three-minute span to firmly take control at 65-46 with 6:15 remaining. William Paterson shot just 32.3% from the floor during the first half going 10 for 31 from the field.
The Pioneers only turned the ball over twice in 20 minutes, but were outrebounded 28-12. Lebanon Valley converted 15 of its 33 attempts from the field. Although this season ended too soon, the Pioneers are still the champions of the NJAC Tournament, won 26 games, and made it to the Sweet 16. Head Coach Erin Monahan is in charge of the Pioneers, but looks to Brianna Lucas and April Smith for on court leadership.
About The Team
Head Coach Erin Monahan is in her 18th season with William Paterson and is not only one of the most successful women’s basketball coaches in school history, but one of the very best in the nation. She has led the Pioneers to 9 NCAA Tournament bids, the 1993 NJAC title, and seven other berths in the NJAC Tournament title game. Monahan was also named D3Hoops.com Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.
Junior Brianna Lucas was named the NJAC Co-Player of the Year, as well as Defensive Player of the Year, All-NJAC First Team, D3Hoops.com All-Region First Team, State Farm All-America Team, ECAC Metro Region Player of the Year, and ECAC All-Metro First Team. Lucas leads the league in three-pointers made with 2.4 per game, and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.7.
She averaged 18 points and 4.3 assists per game. Lucas has also scored over 1,000 career points. Junior April Smith was named to the All-NJAC First Team, D3Hoops.com All-Region Second Team, and ECAC All-Metro Second Team. Smith averages 18.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. She has almost reached 1,000 points in her career and has had 16 double-doubles this season.
About The School
William Paterson University is located in Wayne, NJ and is just 20 miles west of New York City. There are more than 11,000 students enrolled that study one of the 44 undergraduate and 22 graduate programs through its five colleges. While there may be a lot of students that attend William Paterson, the average class size of 21 is small and the student to faculty ratio is 15:1