Berry’s women come into the Southern Athletic Association women’s basketball tournament at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, as the No. 3 seed and will tip off at 9 p.m. against No. 6 seed Centre College
The men are the No. 2 seed in the SAA men’s tournament at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and open with seven-seeded Millsaps at 6 p.m. in a quarterfinal matchup.
Berry’s women (13-11, 9-4 SAA) went on a nine-game win streak in SAA play after a slow start to tie the team’s most conference wins since the program joined NCAA Division III. The Vikings average 58.7 points per game and are shooting 67.7-percent from the free throw line. The team also averages 38.6 rebounds and 9.4 assists per game.
The Vikings are led by Alex Weems, who averages 14.3 points and six rebounds per game. This season, the senior became just the third Viking in the team’s D-III era to score 1,000 career points.
Berry is 2-0 against Centre this season, winning 50-46 at home and 47-40 on the road. The Vikings faced the Colonels last weekend and rallied from behind with 22 points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
Berry’s men enter the tournament with an 18-6 record, which marks the most wins for the Vikings since the 2008-09 season, and 11-3 in conference play. Berry’s second place finish in the regular season marks the best in the team’s D-III era.
Berry is averaging 72.8 points per game, as well as 39.1 rebounds and 13 assists per game. The team is shooting 69.7-percent from the free throw line and 44.9-percent from the field.
Senior Elijah Hirsh leads the Vikings offensively, averaging 17 points per game. He has recorded nine double-doubles on the season and leads the SAA in rebounds with a 9.1 per-game average. Caleb Haynes has also been a force for the Vikings offense, shooting 69.9-percent from the field to lead the conference.
The Vikings are led by head coach Mitch Cole in his first season as the team looks to defend its SAA Tournament title that they earned last year as the No. 8 seed.s