GREENWOOD, Ind. – The HCAC women's basketball tournament will get underway Tuesday night with opening round action from Hanover College and Bluffton University. The six-team tournament will decide who receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. The event will conclude with the semifinals and championship contests at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Friday and Saturday.
Rose-Hulman (22-3, 18-0 HCAC) heads into the tournament ranked at No. 20 in this week's D3hoops.com Top 25 National poll after claiming its third consecutive HCAC regular season title.
The Fightin' Engineers posted a 10-0 record against the five other schools involved in the conference tournament. Transylvania (20-5, 15-3 HCAC) went 7-3 against the field, while Bluffton (19-6, 14-4 HCAC) finished 6-4. Hanover (17-8, 13-5 HCAC) finished 5-5, while Earlham (7-18, 7-11 HCAC) and Mount St. Joseph (10-15, 6-12 HCAC) each earned a 1-9 mark against the tourney teams.
Top seed Rose-Hulman will be searching for their second consecutive tournament championship this weekend. The Fightin' Engineers will take on the winner of Hanover and Earlham on Friday evening in the HCAC semifinals. Rose-Hulman posted a sweep of the Panthers and Quakers this season.
The No. 4 seed Panthers will look to move into the semifinals with a win over No. 5 Earlham Tuesday night in Hanover. Hanover swept the Quakers during the regular season, and the Panthers have won five straight heading into Tuesday's matchup. Hanover and Earlham will tip at 8 p.m. Tuesday night at Hanover College's Collier Arena.
The Pioneers earned the No. 2 seed after finishing 15-3 in conference play and will play the winner of Bluffton and Mount St. Joseph in the second semifinal game at Rose-Hulman on Friday. The Pioneers have won six-straight games heading into the postseason, and they swept both the Beavers and Lions during their meetings this season.
Bluffton claimed the No. 3 seed and will play No. 6 Mount St. Joseph at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night at Bluffton University's Sommer Center. The Beavers swept the Lions during their regular season matchups, and Bluffton has won four games straight leading into the quarterfinal. The winner of Tuesday night's game will advance to the semifinals to face Transylvania at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Friday evening.
The HCAC tournament championship game will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday at Rose-Hulman's Hulbert Arena.
Admission to the HCAC Tournament is available for $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and non-HCAC affiliated students. Children under 3 and HCAC students, faculty and staff are admitted free with valid campus identification.