posted March 9, 2009

WBB Sectional Game Notes

Flying Dutch Game Notes
NCAA Sectional at Thomas More College
Friday & Saturday, March 13-14, 2009

The Flying Dutch (27-1) are playing in the NCAA Division III tournament for the fourth year in-a-row and for the 11th time in school history.  This is the sixth time that Hope has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. The Flying Dutch were national champions in 1990 and 2006.  A year ago Hope advanced to the Elite Eight before bowing to eventual national champion Howard Payne, Tex.  Hope has an all-time record of 19-8 (.704) in NCAA games.

Hope's only defeat of the season was on January 3rd at Saint Mary's, 91-84.  The Flying Dutch defeated Saint Mary's 77-47 last Saturday in the championship game of the conference tournament. The Flying Dutch are on a 20-game winning streak.

This sectional will feature four Top Ten teams. The rankings of the USAToday/ESPN Division III Coaches' poll -- #2 George Fox, #3 Hope, #6 Thomas More and #9 Oglethorpe.  The rankings of the d3hoops.com poll -- #2 Hope, #3 George Fox, #5 Ogelthorpe and #7 Thomas More. The teams have a combined 110-6 record.

How the Teams Got to Thomas More

  • Hope College (27-1), located in Holland, Mich., won the regular season and tournament title of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association to gain an automatic berth. In regional play last weekend, Hope defeated Washington & Jefferson, Pa. 87-64 and Baldwin-Wallace, Ohio 69-53. (11th time in NCAA, 19-8 record); final four appearances in 1990 and 2006).
  • Thomas More College (28-2), located in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, won the regular season and tournament title of the Presidents' Athletic Conference to gain an automatic berth. In regional play last weekend, Thomas More defeated Randolph-Macon, Va. 76-61 and Messiah, Pa. 57-50.  (7th time in NCAA, 7-6 record ; no final four appearances).
  • George Fox University (28-0), located in Newberg, Oregon, was champion of the Northwest Conference and is one of two remaining undefeated teams in the tournament. [The other is Illinois Wesleyan, 29-0]. In regional play last weekend, George Fox routed Chapman, Calif. 83-40 after receiving the tournament's only first round bye.  (6th NCAA tournament appearance, 8-5 record; no final four appearances)
  • Oglethorpe University (27-3), located in Atlanta, Georgia, won the tournament championship of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference to gain an automatic berth. In regional play last weekend, Oglethorpe defeated Maryville, Tenn. 68-65 and Greensboro, N.C. 77-70. (4th time in NCAA, 6-4 record); advanced to final four in 2008 but lost twice to finish fourth).

The Flying Dutch over the past four seasons have a 106-8 cumulative record.  Theonly seniors on this year's team are starters Courtney Knox (6-2 post from Mattawan, Mich.) and Kaitlyn Kopke (5-7 guard from Haslett, Mich.).

Hope has won 20-or-more games for 11 straight years. In 13 seasons under coach Brian Morehouse the Flying Dutch are 315-57 (.847).

Hope History versus Sectional Field

· Hope has played Thomas More twice in recent years.  The Flying Dutch defeated the Saints 77-37 in a home regular season game in 2000 and then in 2002 Hope defeated Thomas More 87-76 in a first round game of the NCAA tournament, also in Holland.

· A year ago Hope defeated the George Fox Bruins  47-40 in a sectional semi-final game played in Texas.

· Hope has no playing history with Ogelthorpe although there is a familiarity with the Stormy Petrels who were in the final four field at Hope's DeVos Fieldhouse in 2008.

Coach Brian Morehouse has been named the regional coach of the year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) for the third time in his 13-year career. Eight NCAA Division III coaches from across the country are being honored and are now eligible for national coach of the year recognition.  Morehouse was named the national coach of the year in 2006.  He has guided the Flying Dutch to a 315-57 record over his career, including 27-1 this season, with eight conference championships and nine trips to the NCAA tournament.  He entered the 2008-09 season ranked third among Division III coaches by winning percentage. Two other coaches in the sectional, Ron Sattele of Oglethorpe and Scott Rueck of George Fox, were also honored.

Sophomore center Carrie Snikkers of Jenison, Mich. (Unity Christian HS) has been named to the WBCA all-region team and is now a finalist for the coaches' Division III All-America team.  There are 42 all-region players from the nation's 422 Division III women's basketball programs. Snikkers is one of five sophomore honorees. Snikkers was voted this season's player of the year in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). Other players honored from the Great Lakes region are junior Kortney Kin of Wilmington, senior Jessica McKenzie of Muskingum, Daniele Sanna of Capital, and Jayme Thiem of Thomas More.

The goal of the Sectional field is to advance to the championship weekend to behosted by Hope College at its DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland, Mich.  Hope will be hosting the final four teams for the second year in a row.