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UC MEC Russell

UC’s Erykah Russell scored 39 points in the Golden Eagles’ win over Glenville State in the MEC women’s championship game.

The University of Charleston men’s and women’s basketball teams will have their seasons continue this weekend at NCAA Division II Atlantic Region tournaments, and both received byes into the semifinals of their respective tournaments, scheduled for this weekend.

UC’s men’s team (14-3) is the No. 2 seed in the regional and will have a bye into the semifinals of the six-team tournament, to be played Saturday through Tuesday, March 16, at the Academic, Sports and Recreation Complex on the campus of West Liberty University.

UC’s women (17-2) are the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Region and get a quarterfinal bye to the tournament, which starts Friday at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus.

Men’s regional

UC will play in the Atlantic Region semifinals Sunday against the winner of Saturday’s quarterfinal game between No. 3 seed (and tournament host) West Liberty (15-4) and Malone (17-6). Tipoff times for the regional games have not been announced.

West Liberty received an at-large bid to the regional after advancing to the championship game of the Mountain East Conference tournament, where the Hilltoppers lost to Fairmont State 102-99. Malone, based in Canton, Ohio, got an automatic bid by winning the Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament.

Fairmont State (15-4), which defeated Charleston 84-69 in the MEC tournament semifinals and won the conference tournament by edging West Liberty in the MEC title game in Wheeling, is the No. 5 seed in the Atlantic Region and will face Mercyhurst (11-0) in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

Mercyhurst, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, played as an independent in 2020-21 after the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference canceled its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and earned an at-large berth after going undefeated, including four wins over Division II Top 25-ranked teams.

Hillsdale College (20-2) was given the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Region and will play Sunday in the semifinals against the winner of Saturday’s Fairmont State-Mercyhurst quarterfinal. Hillsdale, based in Michigan, was beaten 74-64 by Malone in the GMAC semifinals.

The Atlantic Region champion will advance to the Division II men’s Elite Eight, scheduled for March 24-27 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.

Women’s regional

UC earned its No. 1 seed and automatic berth into the regional after winning the MEC tournament title in Wheeling. The Golden Eagles’ first game in the regional will come Saturday against the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal game between No. 4 seed Cedarville (19-5) and No. 5 seed Walsh (16-6).

Glenville State (12-3), defeated by Charleston 87-80 in the MEC title game, got the No. 2 seed in the regional and will play in the semifinals Saturday against the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal game between No. 3 seed Kentucky Wesleyan (18-5) and No. 6 seed Tiffin (16-8).

While the top two seeds come from the MEC, the remaining four teams all hail from the GMAC.

The Kentucky Wesleyan-Tiffin quarterfinal will be a rematch of the GMAC championship game, which Tiffin won 61-57 in overtime.

Tiffin downed Cedarville 72-56 in the GMAC semifinals. Walsh was ousted by Findlay 63-58 in the GMAC semifinals.

The Atlantic Region champion advances to the Division II women’s Elite Eight, scheduled for March 23-26 at the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center.

Contact Nick Scala at 304-348-7947 or nickscala@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @nick_scala319.