|VCU's Kita Waller (left) and Old Dominion's Jasmine Parker show some hustle. (BRADLEY C. BOWER/ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
After losing last season in the championship game of the America East tournament, Hartford was focused on not having that happen again.
Lisa Etienne scored 19 points to help Hartford win its fourth America East championship with a 61-45 victory over Boston University yesterday in West Hartford.
The Hawks lost last year to Maryland-Baltimore County, 48-46, in the championship game.
"I felt like they played this weekend like they were on a mission," Hartford coach Jen Rizzotti said. "A year is a long time to wait to redeem yourself and they stayed focused. Today was a perfect example of how balanced we are as a team."
Hartford (27-5) has won 26 straight games at home and has lost only two games on its home court in the last four years.
Etienne also had eight rebounds and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Danielle Hood added 14 points and six rebounds for the Hawks.
"I was confident today and attacking," said Etienne, who averages 6.2 points.
It was the third time in four years the teams have met in the conference championship game, with Hartford winning the previous two in 2005 and 2006.
Jesyka Burks-Wiley scored 12 points and Christine Kinneary added 11 for Boston University (20-12), which beat Vermont in double overtime in the semifinals Saturday night. It was the Terriers' first 20-win season in 20 years.
"We're not an excuse team, however, we did play a double-overtime game last night," Boston University coach Kelly Greenberg said. "That showed in the second half, how tired we were. But we also fouled way too much in the first half and got into foul trouble.
"Hartford jumped out on us early. Their defensive strategy in the first half really rattled us and got us out of any kind of offensive flow."
Ivy - In New York, Moina Snyder and Jeomi Maduka each scored 14 points to help Cornell beat Dartmouth, 64-47, to win the league playoff and earn its first berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The Big Red scored the first 11 points and never looked back. Dartmouth didn't get its first basket until Brittney Smith hit a shot nearly six minutes in.
Snyder scored 8 of the Big Red's first 13 points and Cornell (20-8) extended its advantage to 26-8 on Shannan Scarselletta's layup with 7:05 left in the half and led, 32-19, at the half.
Dartmouth (15-15) beat Harvard, 68-62, Friday night to advance to the championship game. Cornell won a coin toss to get the bye into the game. The Ivy League is the only conference without a postseason tournament.
Colonial Athletic - T.J. Jordan and Tiffany Green each scored 15 points and No. 14 Old Dominion rallied from an 18-point deficit to win its 17th consecutive tournament championship with a 71-64 victory over Virginia Commonwealth in Newark, Del.
Jazzmin Walters contributed 12 points and Shahida Williams, the tournament's most outstanding player, had 10 for the top-seeded Lady Monarchs (29-4), who improved to 50-0 in CAA tournament games since joining the league before the 1991-92 season.
Krystal Vaughn and D'Andra Moss scored 16 points each and Radoslava Bachvarova added 15 for VCU (25-7), which had already set a school record for victories, easily surpassing the 21 it achieved during the 1986-87 season.
Northeast - Sade Logan scored 18 points and was one of six Robert Morris players in double figures in an 86-75 victory over Long Island University (24-8) in Moon Township, Pa., that gave the Colonials their second consecutive conference championship. The win was the 17th in a row for Robert Morris (23-9).
Tournament MVP Chinata Nesbit barely missed recording her third triple-double in the past six games for Robert Morris. Nesbit had 15 points, 16 rebounds, and 8 assists. She also had three steals.
Big South - Megan Frazee scored 24 points, including the winning basket with 0.3 seconds left, as Liberty (28-3) defeated 23-11 Radford, 66-65, in Asheville, N.C., to win its 11th conference championship in 12 years.
Missouri Valley - Kristi Cirone scored 20 points to lead Illinois State (26-6) to a 70-62 victory over Drake (22-10) in the championship game in St. Charles, Mo.
Horizon - In Green Bay, Wis., Kailey Klein had 29 points and 13 rebounds to lead Cleveland State (19-13) to a 70-56 win over Wright State (16-16) in the championship, allowing the Vikings to clinch their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.