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Press Release: #19 DeSales women's basketball to meet #2 Howard Payne in NCAA "Sweet 16"
Date: 3/11/2008


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#19 DeSales women's basketball to meet #2 Howard Payne in NCAA "Sweet 16"

The 19th ranked DeSales University women's basketball team will continue its run in the NCAA Tournament this weekend when they take on 2nd ranked Howard Payne University on HPU's campus at Brownwood Coliseum in the Sweet 16 on Friday evening in the second game of the night at 7:00 pm. (NOTE: For details regarding game times, tickets, and online broadcasts please read below.)

DeSales (26-3 overall) is making its eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its first in the Sweet 16 since the brackets expanded to 50 teams in 1993-94. The Bulldogs were in the Sweet 16 twice in 1988-89 and 1989-90 when the NCAA only selected 32 teams into the tournament. DSU owns a 4-7 overall record in the NCAA Tournament and are 2-5 under head coach Fred Richter. DeSales defeated local rival Muhlenberg College (56-48) on Friday and Salem State College (74-55) on Saturday to advance to Sweet 16. The Bulldogs punched its ticket to the big dance with an automatic bid after winning the Freedom Conference championship.

Joining the Bulldogs in the sectional in Brownwood, TX will be the host Howard Payne who enters with a 29-0 overall record. HPU earned the automatic bid by winning the American Southwest Conference championship and defeated conference rival McMurry University, 79-64, in the second round to advance to the Sweet 16 after receiving the tournament's only first round bye.

#22 George Fox University arrives in Brownwood with a 25-4 overall record and having earned a Pool "C" at-large bid into the tournament after losing in the Northwest Conference championship game to University of Puget Sound. GFU advanced to the Sweet 16 with a win over Chapman University, 71-55, in the opening round and then avenged its championship game loss to UPS with a 72-66 win in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The final team appearing in Brownwood will be Hope College. Hope enters as the #1 ranked team in the country and with a perfect overall record of 29-0. They earned the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association's automatic bid into the tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 76-47 win over Juniata College and a 68-48 win over Baldwin-Wallace College in the second round.

Game times are set for 5:00 pm (Hope vs. George Fox) and 7:00 pm (DeSales vs. Howard Payne) on Friday evening with the two winners meeting on Saturday evening at 7:00 pm. The winner of Saturday's game will advance to the Final Four being held on the campus of Hope College in Holland, MI. Tickets are priced at $7.00 for adults and $4.00 for students/senior citizens (55+ years old).

Tickets will be released to the general public on Thursday at Noon and they are expecting a possible sellout for the Friday evening games. You can reserve your tickets ahead of time by calling the Howard Payne ticket office at 325-649-8100 or by emailing sriker@hputx.edu. DeSales has a 250-ticket allotment given to them prior to Noon on Thursday so when reserving tickets leave your name and let them know its part of the DeSales fan base so they can release any un-used tickets to that 250 allotment after the Thursday deadline and reserve the proper amount of seats. Any questions about tickets you can also contact DeSales SID - BJ Spigelmyer, and he will try to answer your requests. Contact him via phone at 610-282-1100 ext. 1228 only.

For those unable to attend the game you can follow the progress online. D3hoops.com will be broadcasting all three games at the Brownwood Coliseum and that audio cast can be heard here. The DeSales Sports Information staff will also attempt to bring live stats during the Bulldogs games as well. This has never been done on the road, so we will test the system at DSU's practice on Thursday and hopefully be able to bring them to you on Friday. The live stats link is accessible here.

Winners of 15-straight games, DeSales will be led by its junior backcourt duo of LeighAnn Burke (Philadelphia, PA/Archbishop Ryan) and Kim Rarick (Ringtown, PA/North Schuylkill). Each was named to the All-Freedom Conference First-Team this season, while Burke was honored as the Freedom Conference Player of the Year and a Jostens Trophy Finalist. Both are averaging double digits with Burke leading the way at 19.5 points per game and Rarick pouring in 15.3 per game. Burke is shooting 44.5 percent from the field and has a team-high 87 steals, while Rarick is canning 47.0 percent from the field and is ranked #1 in the country in free throw shooting at 93.0 percent.

Sophomore Caitlin Miller (Fogelsville, PA/Northwestern Lehigh) leads the team on the glass pulling down 9.9 rebounds per game and also averaging 8.6 points to go along with a team-high 10 double-doubles, while seniors Jenna Stampf (Nazareth, PA/Notre Dame) and Amanda Kuperavage (Port Carbon, PA/Nativity BVM) combine to average 14.0 points and 9.7 rebounds per game from the "4" spot on the floor. Head Coach Fred Richter is in his 18th season on the Bulldogs sideline and boasts a 347-148 (.701) overall record. He has guided DSU to six NCAA Tournament appearances and five conference championships.

For more information, contact BJ Spigelmyer, sports information director at DeSales, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1228, or at was1@desales.edu.


Press Release: #19 DeSales women's basketball to meet #2 Howard Payne in NCAA "Sweet 16" | Posted on: 3/11/2008

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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