By Kyle Prudhomme (@Kyle_Prudhomme)
The second round of the NCAA Division III men’s & women’s basketball tournaments were underway Saturday with many New England teams advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. Some had to earn it the hard way, taking on higher-seeds in hostile environments, while others continued their winning ways that have followed them throughout the year.
Below are the updates from the second round action.
UMass Dartmouth 71, No. 12 Montclair State 63: A day after winning its first NCAA tournament game in program history, UMass Dartmouth passed its second test in the tourney, holding off No. 11 Montclair State and snapping its eight-game winning streak. Junior Alicia Kutil recorded her eighth double-double of the season (20 points, 10 rebounds) while three other starters surpassed ten points for the Corsairs. UMass Dartmouth matches up with SUNY New Paltz on March 10th.
No. 4 Tufts 64, Husson 44: The Jumbos took a ten-point lead into the intermission, but weren’t satisfied as they came out off the break to control a 21-4 drive in the third quarter – they did not look back. Tufts controlled the glass in its victory (44-23) and senior Michaela North tallied her second highest rebound total of the season with 13 boards. Tufts University goes up against No. 17 Scranton in the Sweet Sixteen March 10th.
Babson College 62, No. 25 FDU-Florham 61 (OT): Babson’s Jacqueline Jozefick (10 points) lifted the Beavers to victory with a go-ahead layup with five seconds to go in the overtime period. FDU-Florham’s Kendrea Williams finished with a game-high 27 points, while Babson’s Taylor Russell poured in 18 points to go with her 12 rebounds.
No. 1 Amherst College 60, No. 22 Mary Washington 51: – The top-team in the country will continue its quest for a perfect season, but their 29th win on Saturday featured some pushback from the Eagles, who erased a 31-19 first half deficit by outscoring the Purple & White in the second session. Amherst’s Jaimie Renner (18 points) helped keep Mary Washington at bay, knocking down four shots from the charity stripe in the final 30 seconds of the game. Amherst will play Babson in the third round.
Williams 80, Scranton 53: It took eight minutes of play for Williams College to finds its groove, but when it did they were hard to stop. The Ephs took the lead with 12:30 left in the first half and never looked back. Five Williams players finished in double-digits with Daniel Aronowitz leading the way by pouring in 22 points on 8-of-13 from the floor.
No. 3 Babson 72, Skidmore 65: A game that featured 11 lead changes swung in the Beavers direction permanently with 2:05 remaining as Babson’s 13-3 scoring drive closed out the game at Staake Gymnasium. Joey Flannery logged game-highs in rebounds (10) and points (25) – he played all forty minutes. Nick Comenale (16), Charlie Rice (12), and Isaiah Nelsen (11) all finished with 10-plus points for Babson.
Endicott 111, Nichols 75: What a difference a week makes as Endicott avenged its Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title loss to Nichols by setting a new season-high for points scored in a game. The Gulls were deadly from the floor, hitting 38-of-70 and connecting on 19 three pointers. Endicott guard Max Motroni led the shooting barrage with 12-of-16 made and a new season-high of 34 points.
No. 14 Tufts 94, St. Johns Fisher 81: The Jumbos topped the Cardinals with the help of 10 three-pointers on 24 attempts. Tufts’ Vincent Pace set a career-high with 37 points to lead his team toward victory while Tarik Smith (seven assists) and Eric Savage (nine rebounds) added 17 and 16 points, respectively. St. John Fisher’s Keegan Ryan scored 33 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Tufts will go against fellow New England foe Babson in the Sweet Sixteen – the Beavers beat the Jumbos in December.
No. 17 Susquehanna 72, Eastern Connecticut 67: Eastern Connecticut’s Carlos Gonzalez (12 points) knocked down a clutch triple with 11 seconds left to make the deficit just three points, but a pair of free throws from Susquehanna’s Steven Weidlich (25 points) put the game out of reach. Susquehanna made a habit of scoring points in the paint, edging the opponent, 40-28, down low – center Ryan Traub recorded a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds. Susquehanna will take on Williams College in round three.
No. 6 Middlebury 95, No. 15 Lycoming 76: An early first half spurt gave Middlebury all the momentum it needed to put away Lycoming. Middlebury’s Matt St. Amour fueled the outburst with nine of his game-high 30 points during the first half surge. The Warriors, however, outscored the Panthers, 44-43, in the second-half, but the lead was too large to overcome. Middlebury’s Matt Folger led all bench players with 18 points in 16 minutes of action. Middlebury will fact Endicott in the third round – the Gulls took a November 27th meeting as they beat Panthers, 93-89.
Keene State 92, No. 5 Ramapo 91 (OT): Keene State’s Jake Collagan drained the game-winning three to put his team ahead 92-91 with just 48 seconds left in overtime and the Owls – with tough defense to close – held onto upset Ramapo. Ty Nichols (seven assists) and Matt Ozzella (12 rebounds) were the engine for Keene State’s offense, dropping 32 and 22 points, respectively. Keene State’s next challenge is No. 25 Swarthmore.