Whitworth, St. John's knocked out

Jake Dale
Jake Dale went 7-for-8 from the floor off the bench as Bethany Lutheran shot 71 percent in the first half, 60 percent for the game at St. John's.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps made the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup disappear into thin air, Bethany Lutheran knocked St. John's out of the tournament, Cabrini won in the closing seconds and Augustana rallied past the System in a wild opening round to the 2018 Division III NCAA Tournament. 

In a game which featured 16 lead changes, Scott Lynds and Michael Scarlett combined for 59 points and carried Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to an 83-82 win vs. No. 2-ranked Whitworth. Scarlett, who scored a game-high 31 points, accounted for 11 of those in the final 3 minutes, 15 seconds of the game. Scarlett's jumper with 3:14 left gave the Stags (20-7) a 70-69 lead. He added a jumper a minute and a half later, then another at the 1:08 mark to push Claremont's lead back to three at 74-71. Whitworth (24-4) had a flurry of points in the final 15 seconds, including 3-pointers by Isaiah Hernandez and Ben College, and a layup by Kyle Roach but the lead to 81-80, but Scarlett hit two foul shots and kept the Pirates at bay.

Bethany Lutheran made 12 of its first 13 shots at St. John's Sexton Arena, and the Vikings shot 59.6 percent from the floor en route to a 102-92 win vs. the Johnnies. Trenton Krueger scored a team-high 25 points for Bethany Lutheran (20-8), the champions of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. BLC is the second UMAC team to advance in four seasons. The Vikings hit on nine of their first 12 from beyond the arc. Neil Eichten added 21 points and eight assists for Bethany Lutheran. The Vikings led by as much as 10, 67-57, two minutes into the second half, but SJU answered with a 16-4 run to gain a 73-71 lead with 12:11 left. The lead changed hands four times before the Johnnies went 4:48 without a field goal and trailed by six, 87-81. Junior guard David Stokman scored five straight points for SJU to bring the home team to within two, 88-86, with 3:49 remaining. The Johnnies, however, made only one of their final eight shot attempts, while BLC went 2-for-3 from the floor and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line to end the game.

Augustana took control with a 19-2 run late in the second half, turning a 93-87 deficit into a 106-95 lead en route to a 123-111 win vs. Greenville. The Vikings took their first lead of the game with just 8:06 left. Greenville, which led by as many as 19 points, shot just 4-for-20 from 3-point range in the second half and just 8-for-17 from the line. Meanwhile, four players for Augustana (23-5) recorded double figures in the second half alone in the surge to victory. Nolan Ebel scored a game-high 26 points and Joe Kellen added 20 in the win. Greenville finished its season 19-9, with the SLIAC still looking for its first-ever NCAA Tournament win. Sonti Gray and Isiah Price shared scoring honors with 18 apiece for the Panthers, who played six scorers in double figures.

Union used an 11-0 run over a span of 3:22 late in the second half to erase a four-point New Jersey City lead and the Gothic Knights' season came to an end with a 76-72 loss. NJCU led by 11 at halftime and by as many as 14 early in the second period. But in a reversal from the first half, the Gothic Knights shot just 28.6 percent (8-28) from the field and 23.1 percent from three-point range (3-13) in the second half as Union outscored NJCU 42-27. Kevin Weckworth scored a team-high 23 for the Dutchmen (19-8).

Springfield hit 13 three-pointers and needed every one to advance past Albright, 88-86. Trailing 87-83 with 44 seconds left, Albright's Fred Rowles made two free throws and the Lions applied full-court pressure. Springfield threw the ball away on its next possession and Albright's Sidney Brown was fouled. He hit one of two to pull the Lions within one. After a Springfield timeout and a jump ball forced by Albright, Springfield missed a layup with 12 seconds left, giving Albright one more chance. Brown's 3-pointer was long, Springfield grabbed the rebound and sunk one more free throw to put the game away. Jake Ross scored 24 points and added nine rebounds and seven assists for the Pride. Cam Earle scored 18 points with 5-for-7 shooting from three. Fred Rowles paced Albright with 24.

Jake Ross
Jake Ross scored a team-high 24 points for Springfield, which defeated Albright in the closing seconds.
Cabrini athletics photo

It was the only shot he hit all night. Tyler Femi, who had missed three previous attempts Friday night, drained a 3-pointer from the left wing in the final seconds to send Christopher Newport to the second round. CNU, now 22-6, defeated Lancaster Bible 68-65. "I knew it was going in," coach John Krikorian exclaimed after the victory. "The second he put it up I had a feeling. Tyler is such a winner, and I wouldn't have wanted anybody else to take that shot." Senior Aaron McFarland led the Captains in scoring with 24 points. The Chargers (23-6) were led by senior Bill Livezey's 15-point performance.

Sophomore guard Riley Lewis and freshman center Preston Granger nearly didn't miss and Hope needed every one of their shots for a 93-91 victory against Augsburg in a first-round game at Augustana. Lewis scored all of Hope's bench points with 23 points — his second consecutive 20-point game. He finished 8-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Hope overcame a game-high 39 points from Augsburg's Collin Olmscheid.

UW-Stevens Point hit big shot after big shot in the first half and the Pointers took care of the ball for 40 minutes in a 72-55 win vs. North Central (Ill.) in a first-round game at St. John's. The Pointers turned the ball over just four times in the entire game, while shooting 54 percent from the floor in the first half. Mike Pollack hit a 3-pointer with 11:27 to go in the first half to cut North Central's deficit to 11-10. But after the ensuing media timeout, UW-Stevens Point (20-8) went on a 25-5 run to effectively put the game out of reach early. North Central (19-9) cut the lead to as little as 10 points with 5:14 to go in the game but was unable to get any closer. Drew Frederickson led the Pointers with 15 points, while Brett Tauber added 14. 

Reece Dupler went 7-for-8 at the free throw line over the final 1:47, and clinched the 72-68 win for No. 23 Wooster by knocking a lengthy rebound out to half court at the buzzer to erase any chance of last-second heroics by No. 25 Illinois Wesleyan. Brady Rose, who scored a game-high 31 points, led a spirited comeback bid for IWU (19-8), and quickly had Wooster's lead trimmed to five after a 3-pointer with 10:05 remaining. In fact, Rose's free throws at the 8:36 mark pulled the Titans within two at 54-52, but the Scots (22-6) never relinquished the lead thanks to a lay-in by Dupler and a jumper by junior Blake Blair that had the lead back out to six with 6:43 to go.

Eastern Connecticut outscored Johnson & Wales 19-4 over the final 6:07 of the game to record a 75-59 victory. The teams exchanged scoring runs throughout the contest, which saw Eastern Connecticut outscore the Wildcats (19-10) 12-2 over the last 3:36 of the first half to take a 37-29 lead into the locker room. Johnson & Wales was down 10 five minutes into the second half, 48-38, before going on a 12-3 run that cut its deficit to one just four minutes later at 51-50. The Wildcats' deficit was just one, 56-55, after junior Randall Ferdinand went 1-for-2 at the line with 6:27 to go in the game before sophomore Jake Collagan’s three ignited the decisive run that sealed the win for the Warriors.

Midway through the second half, Marietta (21-7) jumped out to a 50-46 lead vs. UW-Oshkosh after DeVaughn Wingard was fouled on a layup and made the foul shot. But the Titans (21-7) responded with a 20-0 run and built a commanding 66-50 lead. "I think we got stops 14 out of 16 possessions," Titans coach Pat Juckem said. "When you have that many consecutive stops you get some baskets in transition." The Pioneers went on a 17-2 run to cut Oshkosh's lead to 68-67 with 55 seconds left in the game. But Marietta couldn't connect on another basket, even when Anthony Wallace picked up an errant pass and drove to the basket, and Oshkosh won 74-67.

Deryl Bagwell rescued Cabrini when the Cavaliers guard hit a jumper with 0.2 seconds left to lift Cabrini over Staten Island 88-86. The Dolphins had just tied the game on a deep three from Edin Bracic with five seconds left. The Cavaliers (25-3) got the ball to Bagwell who ran down the clock, drove inside the three point line and splashed in the game-winning shot. Bagwell finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds for Cabrini. Christian Taylor scored 38 points on 14-for-20 shooting for Staten Island (16-13).

Tyheim Monroe got his 2,000th career point in the game, but left on crutches. He appeared to be injured on the final play of the game when Staten Island was trying to inbound the ball with 0.2 seconds on the clock, after Bagwell's game-winner.

Plattsburgh State had five players reach double-figures in scoring led by 21 points and six rebounds from Jonathan Patron in a 103-86 win vs. Nichols. Senior Zack Coleman added 15 points, with classmate Eli Bryant adding 14 points and eight assists off the bench. Sophomore Nick DeAngelis and senior Eric Mack added 12 points apiece. DeAnte Bruton had a monster game for the Bison, posting a double-double of 32 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, and three steals. Marcos Echevarria added 20 points, six rebounds, and eight assists.

York (Pa.) picked up its first NCAA Tournament win in 12 years as the Spartans downed Yeshiva 81-67 Friday afternoon. The Maccabees were playing without Bar Alluf, who was held out of the game as a precaution because of questions about his eligibility. Eli Mamann canned a three pointer with 2:02 left, trimming the York lead to 75-67. The Spartans answered with a Mike Frauenheim 3-pointer on the next possession to push the lead back to 11. Jared Wagner went 3-for-4 from the line over the final minute to seal the win.

Nebraska Wesleyan sprinted into the second round, as all five starters hit double figures in a 94-70 win vs. Maryville (Tenn.) in St. Louis. Ryan Garver, who was two assists short of a triple-double, did not miss a shot from the field and scored 18 points, to go with 14 rebounds. Nebraska Wesleyan improved to 25-3. Maryville (22-7) had a team-high 18 points from Dante Hoppa.

Hanover scored the first 10 points of the game, but LeTourneau answered with a 23-4 run and held the Panthers off down the stretch to win 85-77. Nate West finished with 25 points for the Yellowjackets, and Christian Seidl added 16 to help LeTourneau (24-4) overcome 30 from Hanover's Cam Falls.

Ramapo broke the Moravian press, got itself to the line, and cruised to an 86-61 win vs. Moravian. The Roadrunners sped their way to 41 free throws (23 in the second half). Patrick Peterson finished with his first career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Thomas Bonacum finished with 15 points.