Wednesday men: Rivalry night revelry

With Hope's 87-67 victory on Wednesday night, the Flying Dutchmen now enjoy a 101-93 advantage in The Rivalry series. 
Photo by Calvin athletics

Hope, Amherst and UW-Whitewater enjoyed victories on a rare night when three of Division III basketball's premier rivalries had games simultaneously.

The latest installment of The Rivalry between Hope and Calvin was relatively anticlimatic, as the Flying Dutchmen built a 17-point halftime lead that was never seriously threatened in the second half of Hope's 87-67 victory in Grand Rapids. Hope shot 51 percent from the field (33-for-65), led by Harrison Blackledge's 25 points in 30 minutes. Cam Denney had 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Knights (10-7, 5-1 MIAA). Hope (13-4, 7-0 MIAA) has two-game lead on Calvin with the rematch between the teams set for the regular season finale. Box score

No. 16 Amherst continued its mastery of archrival Williams with a 72-64 victory at home over the Ephs. Jayde Dawson posted 21 points and seven rebounds for Amherst (13-4) which has won five straight over Williams dating back to January 2015. Daniel Aronowitz tallied 26 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Ephs (13-6). The game, which is part of the Little Three rivalry with Wesleyan, does not count toward the NESCAC standings. Box score

No. 24 UW-Whitewater defended is home court against UW-Stevens Point in an 80-74 win that pushes the Warhawks' conference record above .500. Chris Jones scored 22 points for Whitewater, which shot 55 percent from the field and 87 percent from the foul line. After losing its first three games in WIAC play, Whitewater has won its last four. The teams will meet again in Stevens Point on February 8.

After Salisbury beat Christopher Newport on a buzzer beater back in December, the third-ranked Captains returned the favor with a dramatic 55-53 win over the twelfth-ranked Sea Gulls. Salisbury tied the game at 53 with 14 seconds left on two free throws from Wyatt Smith. On Christopher Newport's ensuing possession, Smith blocked the Captains' first shot but Marcus Carter grabbed the rebound for the Captains and was fouled with 2.9 seconds left. Carter made both free throws and Salisbury could not get a shot off on its last possession.

No. 12 Susquehanna rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to beat Catholic 89-83, giving Frank Marcinek his 400th career victory. Steven Weidlich had 24 points for the River Hawks (16-2, 6-1 Landmark) who have a one-game lead on Catholic (13-5, 5-2 Landmark) in the conference standings. Scranton, which is also one game back of Susquehanna, got Carl Danzig his 300th career victory as the Royals shut down Drew, 64-39.

No. 1 Babson shot 57 percent from the field (35-for-61) and Nick Comenale had 22 points in the Beavers' 90-81 win over Clark. No. 20 New Jersey City University held William Paterson to 17 points and never trailed in a 70-60 victory at home. The Gothic Knights outrebounded the Pioneers 36-26 and held Paterson to one offensive rebound. Recap

Outside the Top 25, Grant Shaeffer just missed a triple-double in St. Thomas' 81-66 win at Macelester. The Tommies' point guard finished with 21 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. St. Thomas remains tied for first place in the MIAC with Bethel, which took care of St. Olaf 70-52, and a half-game in front of St. John's, which was idle. The Tommies play the Johnnies and Royals in their next two games.

Randolph-Macon kept rolling along in the ODAC, beating Virginia Wesleyan 76-57 to sweep the season series from the Marlins. Montese Adams recorded his first double-double (22 points, 11 rebounds) for the Yellow Jackets who have won 10 straight.

Eastern shot 59 percent from the field and eased past Delaware Valley 84-62 in the battle between first place teams in the MAC Freedom. The teams will play again on February 14 at Delaware Valley. On the other side of the MAC, Messiah upset Lycoming 91-80 to trim the Warriors' lead to two games over Alvernia and Albright. Frank Schettino, who is featured in this week's Around the Atlantic column, scored 26 of his 33 points in the second half and Staten Island defeated Baruch 87-82.