By Matt Noonan
Amherst College’s Connor Green netted a game-high 25 points to lift the Purple and White past Tufts University in last night’s Sectional Final in Medford, Massachusetts.
With the win, the Purple and White advance to its third NCAA Final Four appearance in four seasons, and seventh appearance in program history. Amherst will face Benedictine University on Friday, March 18 at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia.
David George and Johnny McCarthy combined for 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Michael Riopel came off the bench and netted 12 points.
Tom Palleschi and Stephen Haladyna paced Tufts, netting 20 points, respectively. Ryan Spadaford registered 11 rebounds, while pouring in seven points.
Amherst led by five points (40-35) at the break before outscoring the host Jumbos, 46-38, during the final 20 minutes.
George hit one of two free throws late in the second session to provide the visitors with the lead before Green converted a three-point play (layup and free throw) with 2:41 remaining to push Amherst ahead for good.
Tufts ended its season at 23-7 following a trio of NCAA Tournament victories, which all occurred in Cousen’s Gymnasium.
Amherst, Tufts advance to Women’s Semifinals: The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) will have a pair of teams vying for the national championship. Both Amherst and Tufts captured their respective sectional finals yesterday with the Purple and White defeating Rochester (78-50) while the Jumbos beat Scranton (57-48).
Amherst will now face Thomas More, while Tufts takes on Wartburg with both contests scheduled for Saturday, March 19.
Michela North highlighted the Jumbos’ effort, recording a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win, while Melissa Baptista netted a team-high 23 points.
All five starters netted double-figures for Amherst with Meredith Doswell pouring in 24 points, including six trifectas. She also recorded six rebounds, three blocks and one assist.
NCAA Division III Hockey Tournament: Williams College and UMass Boston extended its respective seasons, winning first round contests yesterday. The Ephs defeated Salem State, 7-1, while the Beacons dislodged the defending champion Bantams by a score of 4-0.
Both teams will compete in this upcoming weekend’s quarterfinals with Williams taking on SUNY Geneseo, while UMass Boston will head to Hobart for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.
SUNY Geneseo advanced to the quarterfinals following a 7-1 win over Salve Regina.
The Middlebury College women’s ice hockey team advanced to the semifinals after defeating UMass Boston in the quarterfinal round by a score of 4-0. The Panthers will face Plattsburgh State, which blanked Amherst College, 5-0.
The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, March 18 with the championship taking place on Saturday, March 19.