SWARTHMORE, Pa.—Yes, you heard that correctly. Swarthmore College is just one of eight teams still playing in the 2017-18 NCAA Division III Tournament. The Garnet advanced out of the round of 16 by shellacking the Plattsburgh State Cardinals 93-63 on Friday night in a sold-out Tarble Pavilion.
The disparity on the scoreboard may have been shocking based simply on the proximity of the teams in the national rankings, as the Cardinals (24-5) entered the game ranked No. 16 and the Garnet (25-5) were only ranked two spots ahead of them. However, Swarthmore had a clear height advantage down low and used to their advantage. Swarthmore shot a season-best 59.7 percent from the floor and had a remarkable 75.6 percent success rate on attempts inside the 3-point line.
Swarthmore sophomore forward Nate Shafer had 14 points off the bench by halftime and finished with 18 points total on a 9-for-10 shooting night. Fellow sophomore forward Zac O'Dell recorded 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. He connected on 7-of-10 field goal attempts. Robbie Walsh, the senior, finished with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
Senior guard Zack Yonda led all players with 19 points. He went 5-for-7 from the floor and 6-for-7 from behind the free-throw line.