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Lady Vikes' Team Effort Leads to
Region 19 Tournament Berth


West Windsor, N.J. - Even without injured sophomore Alexis Sweet, the second leading scorer in the nation in NJCAA Division II, the Lady Vikings won two of their last three regular season games and hope to continue building on that success as they head into the Region 19 Tournament. The Vikings enter the tournament as the no. 4 seed and will host no. 5 Burlington County College at home on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.

The women have a record of 18-11, including three late season wins in the region. On Feb. 5, they nearly upset Harcum College, ranked ninth nationally, falling 70-64 after holding a 6-point lead with under 2 minutes left in the game.

They rebounded from that hard-fought defeat to a 47-38 victory over the County College of Morris in their last home game of the regular season on Feb. 10, which coincided with a fund-raiser in support of the Breast Cancer Resource Center, located in Princeton. (See article here.) It was also Sophomore Night for the team's five second-year players.

Sophomore forward Azaria Crews made a welcome return to the line-up, adding 9 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Freshmen guards Chanel Johnson and Allicia Pickett both scored 12 points, and sophomore forward Marelys Williams stepped up with 10 points and 8 rebounds.

The Vikings followed that game with a 64-38 victory over Del Tech on Feb. 12, another key win in the region. Crews scored 15 points, Williams added 14 and guard Natasha Nichols finished with 13 to help the Vikings to victory.

While Coach Mike Tenaglia is hopeful that Sweet, who has averaged 25 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, will be healthy for the post-season, she is not the only one who will be key to the Vikings' success.

Tenaglia will also rely on his freshmen, who have nicely complemented the strong play of the sophomores. Johnson and Nichols are averaging 8.2 and 7.6 points per game respectively, and forward Kristine Funk is averaging 6 rebounds per game. Pickett has become an all-around solid presence on the court, playing a key role for the team in Sweet's absence.

With their close loss to Harcum two weeks ago, the Vikings have proven they can be compete with one of the best teams in the nation. And they are highly focused on avoiding the fate of last year's squad -- a a disappointing first-round exit from the tournament -- and bringing the title back to Mercer.


Sophomores were honored prior to their last regular season home game on Feb. 10. Pictured are, from left: Azaria Crews, Marelys Williams, Showana Paul, Alexis Sweet and Lauri Regan.
Azaria Crews made a welcome return to the line-up on Feb. 10.
Game action against Morris

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