By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Rowan University women’s basketball team is in the Division III NCAA Tournament field for the first time since 2000. The Profs will open up the tourney at home as they welcome SUNY-New Paltz to Glassboro on Friday night.

Rowan is 22-5 this season. The Profs advanced to the finals of the New Jersey Athletic Conference tourney before falling to Montclair State. Despite that loss, Rowan gets to open the tournament at home and head coach Gabby Lisella says that is a big plus.

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“You’re able to keep your same routine,” Lisella tells KYW Newsradio. “You’re in a comfortable area, you’re used to your home court. We’ve done very well on our home court (12-1). We’re all creatures of habit, and being able to maintain our habits this weekend I think is a big plus for us. Add to that our fans and just the support we’ve gotten all year long has really been tremendous for us. We play with a lot of energy and our fans give us a lot of energy.”

Listen to the entire interview with Rowan’s Gabby Lisella:

 

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Rowan has a ton of experience, in fact they feature three graduate students in the starting line-up in guard/forwards Kaitlin Schullstrom and Melissa Lake and forward Kate Matthews. Schullstrom leads the squad in scoring at 16 points per game. Matthews pulls down a team high 12.2 rebounds a game while scoring 10.5 points a game. Lake checks in with averages of 9.6 points and 6.0 rebounds.

SUNY-New Paltz is 21-6 heading into the tournament. The Hawks are the champions of the State University of New York Athletic Conference.

“They’re a defensive minded club, they play a lot of man defense,” Lisella says. “They’ve got a couple three-point shooters that we’ve got to make sure that we keep an eye on. I think what we’re looking to do is really push the pace in this, get it into an up-and-down game that we’re comfortable with.”

The winner of this game gets the winner of Amherst College and Eastern Connecticut State University in the second round on Saturday. That game will also be played in Glassboro.

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Friday’s game for the Profs tips off at 7:00pm.