Saturday men: Eyes on the prize

More news about: Benedictine | TCNJ | UW-Oshkosh | Wooster

Benedictine defeated Wisconsin Lutheran to secure the top seed in the NACC playoffs and a share of its third straight conference title.
Photo by Benedictine athletics

With the regular season entering its final month, some conference races are tightening up while others are all but over.

No. 18 Benedictine turned a one-point halftime lead into a 79-58 victory over Wisconsin Lutheran and a share of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) championship. The Eagles shot 62 percent and hit eight 3-pointers in the second half and improved to 18-4, 16-1 in conference. Michael Blaszczyk finished two assists short of a triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Benedictine needs one more win in its final three games to deny Aurora a share of the title. The Eagles swept the season series with the Spartans. Recap

Wooster moved in front of No. 12 Denison in the NCAC by beating the Big Red, 77-62. The Scots led wire-to-wire and led by as many as 27 points. Dan Fannelly posted 24 points for Wooster (15-6, 12-2 NCAC). Ohio Wesleyan joins the Scots in first place since the Battling Bishops took care of Kenyon, 91-71. Denison, which lost its third straight, dropped one game back. NCAC standings

No. 11 Amherst sent No. 9 Tufts to its third loss in four games as the Purple and White beat the Jumbos 84-71. Michael Riopel scored 19 points for Amherst (16-4, 7-2), which has won 32 straight games at home. Amherst and No. 16 Middlebury are one-half game back of Tufts with one weekend left in the NESCAC regular season. The Panthers cruised past Bowdoin 87-57 as Middlebury's five starters each scored double-figures. NESCAC standings

TCNJ shook off its disappointing loss to Rowan on Wednesday and beat No. 7 Ramapo 84-78 behind Eric Murdock, Jr.'s 18-point, 11-assist performance. The Roadrunners' lead over the Lions in the NJAC standings was trimmed to one game, but they remain two in front of No. 24 New Jersey City University. The Gothic Knights lost at Rowan, 91-88. The Profs used a 19-4 run late in the second half to rally past New Jersey City and one step closer to locking up a playoff bid.

With the game between No. 4 UW-River Falls and UW-Oshkosh tied at 60 and less than a minute left, Oshkosh's Brett Wittchow got to the rim for two and the Titans hit three free throws to seal a 65-60 victory over the Falcons. Wittchow scored 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting for Oshkosh which snapped River Falls' 17-game winning streak. The Falcons still hold a two-game lead on No. 21 Whitewater which crushed Stout 83-48. No. 25 Eau Claire lost its third game in five tries, this time falling 61-54 at home against Stevens Point, to all but drop out of the race. WIAC standings

No. 22 Augustana added game to its slight lead on No. 20 North Park in the CCIW race with a win and some help. Augustana clobbered Millikin 75-39 while North Park slipped at home versus North Central (Ill.), 73-67. CCIW standings

No. 2 Whitman has the NWC regular season title pretty well in hand, but Linfield gave the Blues all they could handle on Saturday night. Linfield had the ball down two with 18 seconds left but couldn't get a shot off before Whitman's Jack Stewart deflected the ball into Wildcats' back court, tracked it down and ran out the clock. Jase Harrison scored 17 points for the Blues (21-0, 12-0) who remain the only undefeated team in Division III men's basketball.

Brian Sortino scored 23 points on Senior Day and Oswego State held off Plattsburgh State 77-75. Mykelle Krecko added a double-double (11 points, 18 rebounds) for the Lakers. Swarthmore outlasted McDaniel 89-81 in overtime to stay a game in front of Ursinus and move a game in front of Johns Hopkins in the Centennial Conference. Dickinson defeated the Blue Jays 61-57 to knock Johns Hopkins into a tie for second place.