Close calls on opening night
Preseason All-American April Smith had a big night in William Paterson's opener.
On opening night of the Division III basketball season, the Birmingham-Southern men and William Paterson women had close calls, but came away with victories.
No. 22 Birmingham-Southern made 24 of 31 free throws, including three in the final minute, to edge Huntingdon 81-79. With the Panthers leading by four and 23 seconds left, Huntingdon had three shots to trim the lead. The Hawks missed a layup and two three pointers before hitting a shot at the buzzer to fall two points short. The Panthers' backcourt of Jasen Jonus and Kevin Kegarise scored 32 points for Birmingham-Southern.
No. 6 Marietta survived its first game without injured All-American Trevor Halter. The Pioneers held off Denison 64-58, despite shooting just 6-for-24 from three. The Big Red struggled even more at one-for-13 from behind the arc. Noel Hollingsworth and Will Tashman had double-doubles to lead No. 10 MIT past Curry, 72-66. No. 2 Augustana cruised past Aurora, 102-68. Luke Scarlata had 19 points and 12 rebounds in 21 minutes for the Vikings.
St. Lawrence denied No. 18 Oswego State and new coach Jason Leone an opening night victory. The Saints used a late 6-0 run to pull away from the Lakers, 66-62. Mike Neer won his coaching debut at Hobart as the Statesmen blitzed Ithaca 92-67. Hobart set a school record for three point shooting percentage with 13 makes in 18 tries (72.2 percent).
|Chris Klimek scored 12
second-half points in his first game for Wash U, after he missed
his freshman season with an injury.
By Danny Reise, WUSTL Photo Services
No. 19 Buffalo State set a single game school record for points in a 141-93 win over D'Youville. The Bengals scored 72 points in the second half. That's almost as much as Maine-Presque Isle and Maine Maritime scored in their entire game. The Owls beat the Mariners 45-32. At the other end of the spectrum, Springfield outscored Castleton State 132-113. The Spartans hoisted 63 threes, or more than one every 40 seconds, and showed every sign of being a System team, in the mold of Grinnell. Wash U got its season off to a fast start with a 91-64 defeat of MacMurray.
William Paterson got a combined 56 points from its two All-Americans, BriAnna Lucas and April Smith. The Pioneers needed almost every one of those to beat Manhattanville 103-99 in double overtime.
The Valiants built a 78-67 lead with under five minutes to play in regulation before the Pioneers rallied. Manhattanville's Kelli Hyjek fouled Floriana Borova with four seconds left and sent her to the free throw line where she drained three shots to tie the game. Manhattanville erased a five point William Paterson lead in the first overtime, but Kierra Walker gave the Pioneers the lead for good with a three pointer in the closing minutes of double overtime. Smith finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds and Lucas tallied 27 points and seven assists. Courtney Turner scored 31 for Manhattanville.
No. 6 Calvin held Manchester to four points in the final 10 minutes and rallied to top the Spartans 48-43. Carissa Verkaik had 20 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks for the Knights. No. 7 Washington U. defeated crosstown opponent Fontbonne, 65-60. Dani Hoover scored 21 points for the Bears.
Baruch led Stevens from tip to finish in a 76-55 victory. The Bearcats' bench outscored the Ducks' reserves 32-6 in a meeting of 2011 NCAA Tournament teams. After a tumultuous summer, Kean started off the new season on the right foot. The Cougars used a 16-0 first half run to beat Gwynedd-Mercy 96-74. UW-River Falls returned all of its key pieces from last season and won a hard-fought opener against Gustavus Adolphus 50-43. Tiffany and Brittany Gregorich combined for 23 points and 10 rebounds but it was Maranda Dohrn who came up big on the glass with 18 rebounds in the win.
Scranton coach Mike Strong started the season needing four wins to break the Division III record for coaching victories. He still needs four wins after Montclair State held off the Lady Royals 57-55.