By Elaine Cavalieri (@ElaineCavSports)
The first evening of NCAA Division III men’s and women’s basketball tournament came to a close late Friday evening, and below is the local first-round roundup.
SUNY New Paltz 62, Bowdoin 61: A late defensive stand helped the Hawks prevail past the Polar Bears and set-up second round match-up against host Ithaca. Abigail Kelly paced the Polar Bears off the bench, tallying 13 points, while recording six rebounds, two steals and one assist.
SUNY Poly 80, Eastern Connecticut 72: SUNY Poly’s Stevie Ray highlighted her team’s effort against the Warriors, pouring in 43 points, while tallying five steals, four rebounds and four assists. Eastern Connecticut’s Jordyn Nappi concluded the contest with 19 points.
Amherst 63, Regis 37: A big effort from the Purple & White’s bench helped Amherst defeat the Pride at home. Maeve McNamara led the hosts with 11 points.
Endicott 71, Salisbury 68: Kamahl Walker scored the game’s biggest layup late in the second session, while tallying a game-high 32 points to carry to the Gulls to an exciting first-round victory.
Babson 59, Messiah 53: Giovanna Pickering helped the Beavers extend their current winning streak to five-games, thanks to a game-best 20 points. Taylor Russell netted 11 points, while Jennifer Narlee recorded a double-double of 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Eastern Connecticut 86, MIT 70: Hugh Lindo recorded 21 points and 12 rebounds, Tarchee Brown added 22 points, seven rebounds and two assists as the Warriors defeated the Engineers in their first-ever meeting. AJ Jurko paced MIT with 19 points.
UMass Dartmouth 71, La Roche 64: Nakira Examond recorded his 11 double-double of the season with 23 points (11 of 15 from the field) and 15 rebounds as the Corsairs made history, earning their first-ever NCAA Tournament win over La Roche.
Babson 92, Husson 76: Joey Flannery led the Green and White with 28 points, while Isaiah Nelson recorded a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds. As a team, Babson converted 28 of 35 free throws. Husson’s Raheem Anderson and Mitch Worcester each netted 17 points.
Nichols 96, Neumann 93: DeAnte Bruton netted 28 points, while pulling down six rebounds as the Bison captured its first-ever NCAA Tournament contest. Their three-point win set-up a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championship re-match in the second round.
Husson 74, DeSales 72: The Eagles captured their first-ever NCAA Tournament game as they rallied to defeat the Bulldogs at Tufts University. Chandler Guerrette scored a game-high 28 points, including a trio of trifectas and 13 of 16 free throws.