Women's Basketball

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Tournament Preview: Women's Hoops Set for Tough Tests Against No. 22 Ithaca, Top-Ranked Mammoths at Amherst

Tournament Preview: Women's Hoops Set for Tough Tests Against No. 22 Ithaca, Top-Ranked Mammoths at Amherst

Women's Basketball at Amherst Tournament
Sunday, November 24 | Babson vs. No. 22 Ithaca | 2 p.m.
Monday, November 25 | Babson at No. 1/1 Amherst | 5 p.m.
LeFrak Gymnasium | Amherst, Mass.

WHAT TO KNOW
• Babson is set to take on a pair of opponents that advanced to the second weekend of the last year's NCAA Tournament this weekend in Amherst, Mass.
• The Beavers face 22nd-ranked Ithaca on Sunday before facing the top-ranked Mammoths on Monday afternoon.

SERIES HISTORY
vs. Ithaca
• First meeting.

vs. Amherst
• The Beavers are 7-22 all-time against the Mammoths in a series that dates all the way back to the 1977-78 campaign.
• Babson has dropped six consecutive games against Amherst, which includes a 63-39 setback in the 2017 NCAA Tournament sectional semifinals.
• The Beavers last win over the Mammoths came back in 2003.

SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
• Babson (1-1) suffered a 57-55 loss to Western New England in the championship game of the Lafrance Hospitality Tournament at UMass Dartmouth last Sunday.
• Senior Emily Bonifacic scored 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting and first-year Megan Bauman added 11 points and six assists for the Beavers, who attempted just four free throws in the loss.
• Bonifacic (29.0 pts, 8.5 reb) shot 77.8 percent from the floor in two games last weekend, senior Katherine Tamulionis is averaging 12.0 points and 4.5 assists, and Bauman is contributing 7.5 points and 4.0 assists in two starts.
• The Green and White returned two of its top three scorers in Bonifacic and Tamulionis, and eight players in all after going 21-5 in 2018-19.

SCOUTING THE BOMBERS
• No. 22 Ithaca (1-1) defeated rival Cortland, 70-59, for its first win on Tuesday night.
• Junior Grace Cannon recorded a double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds and senior Cassidy O'Malley added 18 points and 12 boards for the Bombers, who shot 57.7 percent over the final two quarters.
• Cannon (19.0 pts, 10.0 reb) is shooting 55.2 percent, O'Malley (16.0 pts, 12.0) rebounds has recorded a pair of double-doubles, and sophomore Cara Volpe is contributing 7.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in two starts.
• Ithaca, which went 25-6 and reached the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for the second time in six years last winter, was picked to finish first in the Liberty League preseason poll.

SCOUTING THE MAMMOTHS
• No. 1/1 Amherst (1-0) opened the season with an 80-24 victory over New Jersey City last Sunday.
• Senior Hannah Fox scored 16 points and sophomore Gabrielle Zaffiro added 12 points, six rebounds and five steals for the Mammoths, who outrebounded the Gothic Knights 56-30.
• Amherst returns three starters and five of its top six scorers from a team that finished 25-4 and advanced to its 11th straight NCAA Sweet 16 last season.
• Senior Madeline Eck (16.3 pts, 6.1 reb) shot 50.6 percent from the floor, Fox (16.3 pts, 6.1 reb, 3.1 ast) led the team in assists, and senior Cam Hendricks contributed 7.2 points and 6.2 rebounds a year ago.

BONIFACIC EARNS NATIONAL HONOR
• Despite not being selected as the NEWMAC Player of the Week on Monday, Bonifacic was named to the D3hoops.com Team of the Week on Wednesday.
• She scored a career-high 38 points on 18-of-21 shooting and grabbed 10 boards to recorded a double-double in last Saturday's 76-66 win over Union.
• Her 38 points are the most scored by a Babson player going back to the 2007-08 campaign.

RARE FOR A ROOKIE
• Bauman became the first Babson first-year to start in her collegiate debut since 2012 last Saturday against Union.
• The last rookies to start in their debut for the Beavers were Kristen Ferola '16 and Briana Hunt in a 73-59 win over Framingham State on November 16, 2012.

LEANING ON THE LEADERS
• Bonifacic, Tamulionis and fellow seniors Jacqueline Jozefick and Vanessa Onwe are the only three players on the roster that saw action in Babson's losses to Amherst back in 2017.
• Bonifacic and Jozefick each grabbed five rebounds in a 67-62 loss to the Mammoths on November 20, 2016, while Tamulionis and Jozefick contributed eight and seven points, respectively, in the 63-39 NCAA Tournament setback on March 10, 2017.

NUMBER TO KNOW
• The Beavers connected on 60.2 percent of their two-point field goal attempts last weekend against Union and Western New England.

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