New format for MEC basketball tournament
Teams have to earn their way into the Mountain East Conference basketball tournaments.
In a change from past tradition, the league has abandoned a first round where the higher seeded teams had home games and then play moved to Charleston for the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.
And only 10 of the league’s 12 teams get to participate in the tournament. All games will be played in Charleston.
Both the men and the women will begin tournament play on Wednesday, Mar. 1. On that date there will be two games in both the men’s and women’s bracket. The #7 seed will face the #10 seed and the #8 seed will play the #9 seed in both tournaments.
On Thursday, March 2, the women’s quarterfinals will be staged. The #1 seed will see the winner of the #8 versus #9 game and the #2 seed will meet the winner of the #7 versus #10 game. The #3 seed plays the #6 seed and the #4 seed gets the #5 seed.
The semifinals in the women’s tournament come on Saturday, Mar. 4, and the championship game will be played on Sunday, Mar. 5.
On Friday, Mar. 3, the men’s quarterfinals take place with the #1 team seeing the winner of the #8 versus #9 game, the #2 team getting the winner of the #7 versus #10 game. The #3 seed goes against the #6 seed and the #4 seed faces the #5 seed.
The men’s semifinals are on Saturday, Mar. 4, and the championship game comes on Sunday, Mar. 5.
With only two games remaining in the regular season, the Shepherd men were 17-9 overall and tied with Wheeling Jesuit for third place in the MEC standings. Wheeling Jesuit defeated Shepherd in both games between the teams this season and would get the higher seed in case of a tie when the season ends. The Rams played West Virginia Wesleyan last night and go to first-place Fairmont tomorrow to close out the regular season.
Shepherd got needed road wins at Charleston (winning 75-74) and West Virginia State (winning 81-69) last weekend. Naim Muhammad had a career high 30 points in the win over West Virginia State. He also had seven assists. A.J. Carr scored 24 points and landed nine rebounds in that game. Carr went over the 1,000 point mark for his career.
In edging Charleston, Carr totaled 24 points and claimed 11 rebounds, while Muhammad, Skyler Roman and Winston Burgess each scored 14 points against the Golden Eagles.
Shepherd was ranked ninth in the latest Atlantic Region poll used to help determine which teams receive at-large bids to that NCAA Division II Regional held in early March.
The Shepherd women won three straight times to improve their overall record to 13-15 and conference record to 10-10.
The team was tied for sixth place with West Virginia State in the league standings going into last night’s home game against West Virginia Wesleyan.
Morgan Arden tallied 25 points with Cara Mason notching 14 points and Kayla Tibbs scoring 13 points in a 70-59 win at Charleston. Liz Myers grabbed seven rebounds.
Myers scored 21 points and had eight rebounds in a 92-75 road win over West Virginia State. Mason totaled 18 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds while Tiffany McKinney had a career high 18 points as well as 12 rebounds. Arden added 13 points and Tibbs another 11 points.