The Apprentice School men's and women's basketball teams will open play in the 2014 U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Basketball Championships on Wednesday on the campus of Penn State Fayette in Uniontown, PA.
The Lady Builders will open action at noon as the #4-seed in the Women's Division I bracket when they'll face the #5-seed Rochester College (MI). This marks the second all-time meeting between the schools as Rochester took a 66-63 win over the Lady Builders on Dec. 10, 2010 at a tournament hosted by Penn State Brandywine.
Apprentice School enters the tournament with a 21-4 record and having won its last 11 games in a row. Senior Courtney Collins leads the team in scoring (14.6 ppg), field goal percentage (54.4%), second in free throw percentage (67.2%) and is fourth in rebounding (5.8 rpg). Junior Shanae Hilliard is second in scoring (10.2 ppg) and leads the team with a school-record 56 3-pointers hitting just over 37% from 3-point range.
Rochester (12-17) has swept a pair of games from a Maine-Fort Kent team that split two with the Lady Builders. They have three double figure scorers topped by Ke'ala Ka'aikala who averages 15.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Rachel Smith is next at 13.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, while Meagan Heiden averages 11 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
The men's team will play at 5 pm on Wednesday as the #7-seed in the tournament and will face #2-seed and defending champion Rochester College. This will be the third all-time meeting between the schools, all coming in post-season play, and the Builders hold a 2-0 advantage. In the 2003 USCAA Nationals, the Builders defeated Rochester 82-49, while in 2008 the Builders rallied for an 84-72 win in the third-place game.
Rochester enters with a 22-7 record and is paced by senior guard Stavros Schizas who averages 19 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Paris Pereira is next in scoring averaging nine points and is second in rebounding at 4.3 per game. The Warriors defeated this year's top-seed Daemen College (NY) in the championship game.
Apprentice School (15-9) enters on the heels of a 61-58 win last Monday night over Bryant & Stratton College. Sophomore Jay Melendez leads the team in scoring (18.9 ppg) and has hit a school record 64 3-pointers. Junior guard Johnnie Ferebee is next in scoring at 12.8 points and just under six assists per game. Fellow junior Jamal Curry is averaging a double-double at 10.3 points and a USCAA leading 10.8 rebounds per game.