Friday wrap: Cabrini, Paterson clinch

Ithaca won an Empire 8 tournament game for the first time ever when it upset Hartwick, 79-67.
Ithaca athletics file photo

The Cabrini men and William Paterson women each clinched automatic bids on Friday night, while Empire 8 top seed Hartwick fell, as did UW-Stevens Point and Wittenberg in men's action.

Cabrini, the No. 1 team in the NCAA's Mid-Atlantic regional rankings, locked up its return to the NCAA Tournament with an 86-79 home win against Keystone. BriAnna Lucas scored all 15 of her points in the second half to lead visiting No. 11 William Paterson to a come-from-behind 79-69 win against host No. 24 Kean for the New Jersey Athletic Conference championship.

Ithaca finished the first half on a 20-6 run and went on to the 79-67 win against Hartwick in the Empire 8 semifinals. Ithaca improved to 13-13. Ithaca will face Nazareth, which defeated Stevens 74-71 despite the Ducks getting 23 points and 12 rebounds from Simon Smith. Phil Scaffidi was the high-man for Nazareth with 17 points, while Brad Ford finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Golden Flyers.

Dimonde Hale led Denison with 20 points, and a Big Red team which hadn't won an NCAC tournament game since 1998 has now won two in a row after dropping top-seeded Wittenberg 66-58. Wooster beat Ohio Wesleyan 89-80 to advance.

DaQuan Brooks dropped in 41 points, but Rhode Island College finished the game on a 12-2 run in the final 85 seconds to defeat Western Connecticut 75-74 in the Little East semifinals. Mason Choice hit two free throws with eight seconds left to clinch the win. The Anchormen will face Eastern Connecticut in the finals.

UW-River Falls made it a three-game sweep of UW-Stevens Point for the 2011-12 season, rolling over the Pointers 76-51 behind 22 points from Ollie White. The Falcons will travel to top-seeded UW-Whitewater for a Sunday championship game after the Warhawks got 19 points from Luke Knoble on 7-for-8 shooting to beat UW-La Crosse 66-55.

Nick Nedwick scored 27 points and Jamie Kohn added 23 to lift homestanding Eastern Connecticut past Keene State 81-76 in double overtime in the Little East semifinals.

The defending national champions' season is still alive, as Will DeBerg scored all 18 of his points in the second half to lead top-seeded St. Thomas to a 74-64 win against Bethel. The Tommies will host Gustavus Adolphus in a rematch of last year's title game.

Wheaton (Ill.) and North Central (Ill.) advanced to the CCIW championship game, with the No. 22 Thunder leading wire-to-wire in defeating Illinois Wesleyan 69-56 and homestanding North Central defeating No. 18 Augustana 63-56. Tim McCrary had a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while adding four assists and three blocked shots for the Thunder. Derek Raridon and Landon Gamble combined for 33 points for North Central, which won despite shooting 4-for-19 from beyond the arc.

Carroll overcame 26 points from Travis Clark and 21 from Nate Bateman to defeat the Foresters 77-70 and defeat the top seed in the Midwest Conference tournament. Carroll will meet St. Norbert for the title, as the Green Knights knocked off Grinnell 103-83. It was Gary Grzesk's 100th career win.

William Paterson's women won the NJAC title with a come-from-behind victory.
NJAC photo

Friday's women's action

Anna Fareed scored 28, Jordan Owens 25 and Chelsea Leeder 24 as Southwestern outlasted Birmingham-Southern 96-95 in double overtime of the SCAC quarterfinals. Rhode Island College cruised to a 37-3 halftime lead and rolled over Western Connecticut 67-47 in the Little East semifinals. RIC will meet Southern Maine in the championship game after the Huskies defeated Keene State 60-52.

Olivia Lett scored 27 points to lift No. 17 Illinois Wesleyan past Millikin 96-74 and into the CCIW women's title game. The Titans will host Carthage on Saturday, as the Lady Reds defeated Wheaton (Ill,) 70-64. Dani Ripkey scored 20 and Diana Jacklin pulled down 16 rebounds.

Buffalo State crushed Cortland State 76-31 in the SUNYAC semifinals, holding the Red Dragons to 21 percent shooting. Barb Kiliszek and Bianca Smiley led Buffalo State with 18 points each.  Kiliszek also had seven assists. The Bengals will meet Oneonta State, which held on to advance after New Paltz State rallied from a 17-point deficit to force overtime.

Medaille and La Roche will play for the AMCC title. Jessica Pitts recorded her fifth double-double of the season and Ja'Nia McPhatter scored 12 points in her first collegiate start as La Roche cruised to a 77-46 win over Mt. Aloysius. Medaille rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to beat Penn State-Behrend 58-49.

More wrapup to come.