Women’s Basketball Team Falls to Smith College in NCAA Division III Championship Quarterfinals

4 min read

Cece Hampton ’24

Sports Editor

For the first time in over 25 years, the Trinity women’s basketball team was selected to compete in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. The Bantams hosted the first and second rounds of the tournament at Oosting Gymnasium over the first weekend in March, squashing the Notre Dame of Maryland University with a final score of 58-43, and defeating SUNY Cortland 64-59 after a nail-biting match up. Sophomore point guard Indi DelRocco (Branford, Conn.) proved her sharp shooting skills, scoring consecutive free throws multiple times. She ended the season tied with the highest free throw percentage on the team, succeeding in 0.857 of her attempts. The atmosphere in Oosting was electric and spirits were high with dozens of fans, students, and faculty cheering for Trinity during the matchups. 

These hard-earned wins for the Bantams earned them a spot playing in round three of the tournament the following weekend, hosted at the Ainsworth Gymnasium at Smith College. There the Bantams took on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks, ranked 12th in the nation. The Bantams defeated the Warhawks with a 63-56 victory, earning their 25th win of the season, and setting a new program record. Junior Emma Wax (Pine Brook, N.J.) carried the Bantams this game, scoring 16 points and making 8 rebounds. Sophomores Hannah Marzo (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and DelRocco both came second to Wax, each scoring 12 points. Besides the opening minute of the game, the Warhawks took their first lead of the game as the third quarter of the game closed. The Bantams responded by amping up for the fourth quarter, immediately regaining their lead with three-point plays by both Wax and DelRocco. The Warhawks kept the Bantams on their toes though, and tied the game again at 52 with less than six minutes left on the clock. A successful free throw propelled the Warhawks to leading again at 56-55, which the Bantams responded to with even stricter defense and intensified offense. They quickly regained the lead and ultimately ended this nail-biting game with a final score of 63-56. In a post-game press conference, Head Coach Emily Garner shared her excitement, pride, and love for the team, saying, “When you get to the tournament in March, it’s all about heart, and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort that our team gives.” 

The Bantams’ victory against the Warhawks advanced them in the tournament to the quarterfinals for the very first time in their history, playing against the Smith College Pioneers the next night. Wax and junior center Reilly Campbell (Wallingford, Conn.) led the Bantams in points this game, scoring 10 and 12 respectively. The Bantams started with an early 9-3 lead thanks to senior forward Frankie Silva (Auburndale, Mass.) and Wax, but, by halftime, the Pioneers had taken a 35-24 lead. The No. 4-ranked Pioneers ultimately defeated the Bantams with a final score of 63-46, improving their record to 30-1, and advancing to the semifinals, hosted at Trinity’s own Oosting Gymnasium. 

The Bantams, ranked No. 20 nationally, finished this historic 2022-2023 season with a program-best record of 25-6, boasting their first appearance ever in the NCAA quarterfinals. They also qualified for the NESCAC Championship Tournament for the fifth consecutive year, and the 16th time ever, finishing the season with a league record of 7-3. Trinity defeated Amherst 58-57 in the quarterfinals and Williams 60-42 in the semifinals before taking on Tufts in the finals, where they lost 60-42. This was Trinity’s first ever appearance in the NESCAC finals. Of this historic season, Campbell shared, “This was our goal since the beginning of the year…It is great to see women’s basketball and women’s sports finally getting the attention it deserves.”

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