MacMurray's dreams of reaching the Big Dance are still alive.
MacMurray athletics file photo
The top seeds in five men's tournaments, including the OAC and CAC, were eliminated as the conference playoffs continued on Thursday night.
In the OAC tournament, fifth-seeded Wilmington defeated John Carroll 79-74 to advance to the championship. Wilmington led for much of the second half until the Blue Streaks battled back to take a short-lived 71-69 lead. The Quakers tied the game on their next possession then nearly shut out John Carroll for the rest of the game. Wilmington built a large enough lead that a late three-pointer by John Carroll didn't matter. The Quakers will play Capital which held off Ohio Northern 66-61.
Long time York (Pa.) head coach Jeff Gamber announced he would retire at the end of the season, but that end won't be for at least a couple more days. The Spartans upset top-seeded St. Mary's (Md.) in the CAC tourmanent when Julian Watson hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 31 seconds left. York (Pa.) faces Mary Washington after the Eagles edged Hood in the other semifinal.
SUNY-Purchase blasted Skyline top-seed St. Joseph's (L.I.) 101-85 as Craig Davis errupted for 29 points and DJ Smith notched 13 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. The Panthers, who were .500 entering the day, will travel to Farmingdale State which survived a battle with Mount St. Mary 89-86 in overtime.
MacMurray won a three-way tie for the final SLIAC playoff spot. Then the Highlanders went on the road and won at top-seeded Webster 68-62. MacMurray will take on Westminster (Mo.) next. The Blue Jays took care of Eureka 74-60.
The top two seeds in the Northern Athletics Conference tournament were ousted on Thursday night. Josh Regal scored 25 points to lead Lakeland past Concordia (Wis.) 85-83 in overtime. Edgewood got past second-seed Benedictine 64-60.
Other top seeds fared better. Idris Lasisi scored 27 points and Whitworth handled Lewis and Clark 79-61 in the Northwest Conference playoffs. Coe advanced past Luther 67-57 in the IIAC playoffs. Ray Askew became Albertus Magnus' all-time scoring leader and the Falcons flew into the GNAC finals and past Lasell 92-70.Bethany eased past Washington and Jefferson 82-69 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference. You can read more about the Bison in this week's Around the Region column.
UW-Whitewater celebrates its semifinal win at UW-Eau Claire.
Photo by Leah Thyne
For the second time in six days, the four nationally ranked teams in the WIAC battled each other, this time with two spots in the conference tournament title game on the line. No. 12 UW-Stevens Point and No. 23 UW-Whitewater earned those spots with victories on Thursday night.
UW-Whitewater went on the road and knocked off No. 16 UW-Eau Claire 57-53. The Blugolds outrebounded the Warhawks by 12 but Whitewater turned 28 Eau Claire turnovers into 31 points. The starters accounted for all but three points in the game.
UW-Stevens Point eliminated No. 21 UW-River Falls 70-60. After the Falcons tied the game at 54 with seven minutes remaining, the Pointers pulled away for the victory. They will host Whitewater on Saturday afternoon.
All the other nationally ranked teams won, though not without some excitement. No. 8 Mary Washington edged archrival Marymount 64-62. The undefeated Eagles will face York (Pa.) which held off Salisbury 64-51. No. 18 Hope nipped Albion 58-55 behind Courtney Kust's double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds), setting up another battle with No. 5 Calvin. The Knights dominated St. Mary's (Ind.) 78-50 in the other MIAA semifinal.
No. 7 Lewis and Clark will get another crack at No. 3 George Fox in the NWC playoff final. The Pioneers topped Whitman 69-64 and the Bruins finished off Puget Sound 68-55. George Fox swept the regular season series.
Erica Whitley scored 21 points for Cal Lutheran including a layup at the buzzer to push the Regals past SCIAC top seed Occidental 51-49. The Tigers will need an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. They were ranked sixth in the most recent regional rankings.
Endicott upset CCC top seed University of New England 53-49 and burst someone else's bubble in the process. The Nor'easters were picked second in the most recent NCAA regional rankings, putting them in good position to grab an at-large bid for a conference that would otherwise only have an automatic bid.