Wednesday wrap: Down to the wire

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Katlin Michaels saved King's with a barrage of threes in the Freedom semifinals.
Photo by Frank Lauri

Even without any major upsets, Wednesday night's conference playoff action had plenty of excitement, particularly in Pennsylvania.

The King's and Eastern women went down to the wire in the Freedom Conference semifinals. Eastern led for much of the second half until Katlin Michaels hit a trio of three pointers to put the Lady Monarchs in front 51-49. The Eagles regained the lead 53-52 on Rebekah Roland's jumper from the top of the key with 1:19 left. With two seconds remaining, Samantha Silcox grabbed a missed shot for King's, rolled the putback over the rim and was fouled. Silcox completed the three-point play and the Lady Monarchs survived 55-53.

A few minutes later and a few miles away, the Wilkes men began overtime against Eastern in the men's side of the Freedom. Wilkes outscored the Eagles 28-23 in the extra frame and the Colonels advanced 103-98. The game tied the Division III record for most points in an overtime period, matching the 51 scored by Washington and Lee and Mary Washington on Jan. 9, 1995.

Like Eastern, Widener had both teams involved in heart stoppers. The Pride women upended Messiah 60-58 to advance to the Commonwealth finals. The Pride men rallied but fell in overtime to Lycoming 79-77. Michael Bradley had 31 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors in the victory.

The game of the night was played in the NJAC men's semifinals where Richard Stockton outlasted Ramapo 89-87 in double overtime. After Ramapo's Will Sanborn hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 87, Darnell McCargo was fouled for the Ospreys with two seconds left. He made both free throws to send Richard Stockton to the NJAC title game. The Ospreys converted 32 of 38 free throws.

The CSAC women's semifinal between Gywnedd-Mercy and Marywood was almost as exciting. The Griffins edged the Pacers 82-78 in double overtime. Gwynedd-Mercy will host Baptist Bible in the conference title game. Vassar was swept in the regular season by RPI but Brittany Parks hit a layup with 33 seconds left to help lift the Brewers to a 56-51 win. Vassar will play at top-seeded St. Lawrence for the Liberty League title.

Both nationally ranked women's teams won without much difficultly. No. 10 Juniata topped Moravian 71-60 and No. 20 Lebanon Valley eased past Elizabethtown 69-47. Blue Jays head coach Yvonne Kaufman, who has won 689 games and two national championships, has coached her last game for Elizabethtown. She announced that she would retire at the end of the season.

Andy Burns scored a team-high 14 points for St. John's, including the game-winner.
More photos from this game.
Photo by Caleb Williams,

All three nationally ranked men's teams also won. No. 1 Hope ended archrival Calvin's season by beating the Knights 87-80 in the MIAA semifinals. David Krombeen had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Flying Dutchmen who will host Adrian in the conference championship. No. 13 William Paterson defeated Kean 72-56 and No. 20 UW-Stevens Point handled UW-Superior 62-52.

Fifth-seeded St. John's and sixth-seeded Bethel advanced to the MIAC men's semifinals, and for the Johnnies, it was in dramatic fashion as Andy Burns hit a runner at the buzzer to win 47-45 at Augsburg. Bethel gets top-seeded St. Thomas and St. John's gets Gustavus Adolphus in Friday's semifinals.

The top men's seeds on both sides of the MAC won nail biters. Misericordia held off FDU-Florham 76-73 and Messiah knocked off surging Albright 70-65 in overtime.

Skidmore and Hobart advance to the Liberty League's men's title game, as Skidmore got 23 points from John Mantas to beat St. Lawrence 76-67. Hobart's 73-53 win against Union was the Statesmen's 22nd of the season, a school record in Mike Neer's first year as head coach.