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Kelecia Harris and Albright would not be denied their first trip to the Sweet 16.
Albright athletics file photo

Albright and Stevens are headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time in their program's history while the NESCAC and UAA will send three teams each and both of 2015's national finalists will join the fun.

No. 9 Albright edged No. 24 Montclair State 69-66 in overtime to win a battle of contrasting styles. The Lions relied on their low post scoring with Kelecia Harris scoring 17 points and Alysha Lofton adding 12 points and nine rebounds. The Red Hawks relied on outside shooting as Rachael Krauss scored 12 points with a trio of triples.

Montclair's Katie Sire hit a three at the buzzer at the end of regulation to force overtime but the Lions continued to pound the ball inside and got to the free throw line in the extra period. Albright is headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time in two tournament appearances.

Stevens is best known for its stifling defense, but it was the scoring of Kaitlyn Astel and Miranda Ripken that lifted the Ducks into the Sweet 16. Astel scored 21 and Ripken added 20 more as Stevens knocked off SUNY Geneseo 66-60. The Ducks will also make their first sectional appearance next weekend.

Kaitlin Langer and St. Thomas had good reason to be fired up as the Tommies rolled past UW-River Falls.
Photo by Wade Gardner,

No. 9 St. Thomas needed a frenetic fourth quarter rally to beat Loras in the first night of the tournament, but not so on Saturday. The Tommies pummeled No. 13 UW-River Falls 67-46, outscoring the Falcons 40-14 in the middle periods. St. Thomas' inside-out combination did the job again as Kaitlin Langer tallied 25 points and 12 rebounds and Katie Stone added 12 points.

That result was part of a long night for the WIAC which had all four of its tournament representatives eliminated. No. 2 George Fox survived its weekend trip to Wisconsin by edging No. 20 UW-Stevens Point 62-59. The Bruins and Pointers traded leads four times in the final period. George Fox (29-0) claimed it for good on Sammy Naluai's 3-pointer with 1:37 to play. Justine Benner scored 16 points on 7-for-16 shooting for the Bruins.

Wartburg defeated No. 11 UW-Oshkosh 66-56 as Kailey Kladivo came off the Knights' bench to tally 23 points and eight rebounds. No. 10 Washington took care of UW-Whitewater 62-45 in a game the Bears led start to finish. The Warhawks trailed by five entering the final period before the Bears (22-5) broke the game open. 

No. 25 Carnegie Mellon used a late 5-0 run to rally past No. 14 Ohio Northern 68-65 and into the Sweet 16. With her team trailing 62-61 with 2:32 to play, Jackie Hudepohl made a jump shot to put the Tartans in front. Lisa Murphy added a layup on Carnegie Mellon's next possession and the Tartans made enough free throws the rest of the way to claim the victory. Carnegie Mellon (21-6) will face UAA rival Washington U. next weekend. The Bears beat the Tartans in both regular season matchups.

Like a lot of other teams, Moravian didn't have much room to work against Tufts' stifling defense.
Moravian athletics photo 

The NESCAC's top two teams made the most of their weekend road trips. No. 4 Amherst defeated Rowan 78-57 in a game Amherst (28-1) led for all but two minutes. Ali Doswell scored 34 points for Amherst which will likely host the sectional round next weekend. No. 7 Tufts took care of Moravian 65-45. Michela North posted 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Jumbos (20-8) who led 21-7 after one period. Bowdoin fared just as well at home where the Polar Bears topped New York University 62-48. Bowdoin's reserves outscored the Violets' 26-8.

No. 23 Christopher Neport outscored No. 12 Muhlenberg 40-14 in the middle periods and rolled past the Mules, 65-42. Makenzie Fancher had 21 points and eight assists for the Captains (24-4) who won despite shooting 1-for-5 from the free throw line.

No. 3 Scranton punched its ticket to the round of 16 by beating Marymount 60-44. The Royals turned 20 Marymount turnovers into 22 points and Alexix Roman scored 23 points, including the 1,000th of her career, and grabbed 10 rebounds. Scranton is in good position to host the sectional round next weekend.

In other second round results:

  • Sydney Moss narrowly missed the second triple-double of her career but No. 1 Thomas More had no trouble getting past Guilford. The Saints walloped Guilford 92-40 as Moss rolled up 26 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
  • No. 5 Texas-Tyler cruised past Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 80-58. Alex Kochner led the Patriots with 20 points and 10 rebounds in 39 minutes.
  • No. 16 Rochester ousted Stockton 67-59 behind a big night for super sophomore Alexandra Leslie. She scored 13 of her 23 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds. 
  • No. 18 Maryville (Tenn.) came from behind to down Birmingham-Southern 63-56. Mackenzie Puckett scored 10 points of her 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line.