May 4, 2010
The 2000-2001 season featured an incredible ride by the Emmanuel College Women's Basketball Team. The Saints won a then school-record 28 games, including going on a 23-game mid-season win streak, en route to a trip to the 2001 NCAA Division III Final Four. Emmanuel's Final Four appearance marked the first time that any Boston College or University men's or women's basketball team (Division I, II or III) had ever made it to the Final Four. The team received numerous honors for its stellar season, including being named the 2001 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Team of the Year.
The Saints went undefeated in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) during the regular season, posting a 12-0 record. This undefeated stretch began Emmanuel's nationally-recognized Division III conference win streak of 72 games, which lasted through 2006. After sweeping GNAC opponents during the regular season, the Saints went on to knock off Pine Manor College in the GNAC quarterfinals, Western New England College in the GNAC semifinals and Norwich University in the GNAC Championship. This was Emmanuel's 6th GNAC title and the Saints received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
At the time, the Saints were making their 7th NCAA Tournament appearance and Emmanuel received a home game in the opening round of the Northeast Regional. The Saints hosted Springfield College and defeated the Pride with decisive 79-56 victory.
Emmanuel's road to the Final Four continued, when the Saints headed to New York University for the second and third rounds of the national tournament. Emmanuel took on SUNY-Cortland in the first round of the sectionals and downed the Red Dragons in a high-scoring 87-70 win. The Saints then upset host NYU, the top-ranked team in the country, 74-70, in an unbelievable overtime thriller. Emmanuel's win in the sectional finals granted the Saints a trip to their first-ever NCAA Final Four.
Emmanuel was slated to face the eventual National Champion Bears of Washington University (Missouri). The Bears overpowered the Saints, 78-62, to win their fourth consecutive national crown. After making such an incredible run, the deflated Saints then dropped the national consolation game to Ohio Wesleyan, 70-64.
With a 28-4 final overall record, the 2001 Saints were ranked nationally in several categories. Emmanuel was 2nd in the country in rebounding margin, 5th in scoring margin, 8th in scoring-offense, 9th in win-loss percentage, 21st in field goal percentage-defense, 28th in field goal percentage, and 31st in field goal percentage-defense.
Emmanuel's Head Coach Andy Yosinoff was named the 2001 GNAC Women's Basketball Coach of the Year. Senior guard Marcy Tillman was named the GNAC Player of the Year, as well as the GNAC Tournament's Most Valuable Player. Along with Tillman, Brianne Bognanno received 1st team All-GNAC honors. Bognanno was also joined by Nessie Parham on the GNAC All-Tournament Team.