Tartans sink Hope, Falcons roll Thunder

Lisa Murphy (right) and Carnegie Mellon grabbed a surprise win from Maura McAfee and Hope.
Carnegie Mellon athletics photo

The first round of the NCAA tournament featured three matchups of Top 25 teams. Those three games resulted in a thriller, a blowout and a fourth quarter rally.

No. 25 Carnegie Mellon went on the road to No. 5 Hope and upset the Flying Dutch 73-72. The Tartans (20-6) grabbed the lead early in the first quarter and held it all the way until there was 63 seconds left when Mandy Traversa hit a three-pointer to put Hope (26-2) in front 70-68. The teams traded baskets on their next possessions, which left Hope still in front 72-70 with 21 seconds left. Carnegie Mellon missed a jump shot but Lisa Murphy grabbed the offensive rebound, scored the basket and was fouled. She hit the free throw to complete the three-point play and, after a final missed shot by Hope, complete the upset.

Murphy finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds for Carnegie Mellon, which is appearing in the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years. This is the first time in more than a decade that the MIAA will not have at least one team in the second round of the tournament.

No. 18 Maryville (Tenn.) outscored No. 19 Mary Washington 29-15 in the fourth quarter and rallied past the Eagles 67-56. Mackenzie Puckett scored eight of her 22 points in the final period, all from the free throw line, to help the Scots reach the second round for the third time in four seasons. Maryville (25-3) shot 27 for 34 from the free throw line, and made 17 of its 19 shots in the fourth quarter.

The third matchup of nationally ranked teams was no contest as No. 13 UW-River Falls rolled No. 17 Wheaton (Ill.), 81-56. The Falcons held the Thunder to 28 percent shooting (17-for-61) and outrebounded them by 21. Kate Theisen paced River Falls (23-5) with 21 points and nine rebounds. 

The Falcons' reward for beating one Top 25 team is a date with another tomorrow night. No. 8 St. Thomas rallied past Loras 76-68 in overtime as Katie Stone scored 20 of her 32 points in the final ten and a half minutes. That sets up a second round battle between the MIAC and WIAC champions.

Other than Hope, only one other host team lost on Friday night. Moravian took down No. 15 University of New England 70-60 in Biddeford, Maine. Alexis Wright picked up the 58th double-double of her career with 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Greyhounds (20-7). "I felt like we were the underdogs so we went out there with nothing to lose," said Wright. Moravian gained its first NCAA tournament win since 1993.

Kimberly Frost scored nine points in George Fox's 64-54 win over St. Norbert.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com 

Friday night was a rough one for a couple recent national champions. FDU-Florham scored just 18 points in the second half and eventually lost to SUNY Geneseo 51-45. DePauw trailed UW-Stevens Point from start to finish as the Pointers defeated the Tigers 65-50. Lauren Anklam tallied 12 points, five assists and four rebounds for Stevens Point (21-7), which hosts No. 2 George Fox tomomrrow night. The Bruins took care of St. Norbert 64-54 in the early game from that pod.

Birmingham-Southern picked up its first NCAA Division III women's basketball tournament victory as the Panthers topped Lynchburg 56-50.

Stockton edged Clarkson 60-59 on Najha Treadwell's game-winning free throws with five seconds left. Treadwell and Sasha Williams combined for 26 points and 23 rebounds for the Ospreys (22-6). Stockton's conference mates Rowan and Montclair State also notched first round wins over SUNY New Paltz and SUNYIT respectively.

The NESCAC also went 3-0 in the first round without much difficulty. Amherst topped Eastern Connecticut 65-47, Tufts held off Regis 61-49 and Bowdoin cruised past Westfield State 75-49.

The UAA did one better, going 4-0 on Friday night. In addition to Carnegie Mellon's win, Washinton U. beat Greenville 87-48, Rochester mauled Johnson and Wales 79-49 and New York University rallied past Lehman 70-63. Same goes for the WIAC which got wins from UW-Oshkosh over UW-Superior (now members of the UMAC) and UW-Whitewater over Bluffton, in addition to the wins noted above for Stevens Point and River Falls.