Tuesday: A buzzer-beating tourney upset

UNE file photo by Marley McCabe
Clifton Lyerly scored a game-high 26 points to lead Brockport State past Buffalo State 78-73 in the SUNYAC first round. More photos from this game.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

As conference tournaments have gotten smaller over the past several years, we've missed moments like these in Division III basketball. But one happened on Tuesday night, as the University of New England, the No. 8 seed in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, knocked off top-seeded Nichols with a shot at the buzzer, 50-49.

UNE, which hadn't finished in the top eight in the CC since 2010, upset a 20-game winner in a conference that will likely send just its champion to the NCAA Tournament. Jean-Luc Parker hit a 3-pointer as time expired for the Nor'easters, who improved to 8-18. 

Both home teams lost in the WIAC first round, as sixth-seeded UW-Oshkosh shot just 5-for-20 from 3-point range to knock off third seed UW-Platteville 59-55, while No. 5 UW-Eau Claire dumped No. 4 UW-River Falls 81-79 in overtime, surviving as the Falcons' 3-point attempt at the buzzer missed.

Wittenberg went 54 consecutive seasons without a losing record, but that streak officially ended Tuesday night as the Tigers lost to DePauw 79-75 in double overtime in the NCAC quarterfinals to finish 10-16. Wittenberg went 6-6 in its final 12 games but was sunk by a 4-10 start to the season. Luke Battner came off the bench to score 26 for the Tigers. The DePauw Tigers, that is.

Cabrini and Aaron Walton-Moss kept its season and his career going, as the senior recorded yet another triple-double in the Cavaliers' 109-101 win over Gwynedd Mercy in the CSAC semifinals. Walton-Moss had 18 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists. The Cavaliers will host second-seeded Neumann in the conference title game on Friday night.

Mary Washington's late-season surge continued as the sixth-seeded Eagles defeated No. 3 Marymount 63-61 in the Capital Athietic Conference first round. The Eagles are 8-9 in 2015 after finishing the 2014 portion of the schedule 0-9.

"I'm very proud of our effort and commitment to finishing out the game", said first-year Eagles coach Marcus Kahn. "We have been in a ton of close ones this year so we were definitely prepared for the situations down the stretch."

Freshman Eric Shaw scored a team-high 17 points to lead the Eagles.

William Paterson ended a great second-semester run by New Jersey City, defeatig the Gothic Knights 63-61 beind 27 points from Sandy Burgos. NJCU went 11-6 after a 2-8 start. The Pioneers will face top-seeded Richard Stockton for the NJAC title after the Ospreys defeated Rutgers-Newark 70-54.

Dequan Jackson and Devin Jones combined to score 53 points as Penn State-Abington ended Gallaudet's winningest men's basketball season with a 76-73 win. The Bison's run ends at 18-7.

Women's wrap: Baruch, Brooklyn to meet for CUNYAC title

Baruch will play in the CUNYAC final for the 10th consecutive year, as the Bearcats defeated fifth-seeded Hunter 70-44 behind a double-double from Sheridan Taylor (19 points, 11 rebounds). 

"I'm very excited. This was the goal of our staff at the beginning of the year," said interim Baruch coach KellyAnn Barrett. "Now is the time we've been waiting for."

Brooklyn rolled out to a 20-1 lead in the first six and a half minutes of the game and cruised to a 69-57 win over Staten Island. Vanessa D'Ambrosi scored eight of the 20 points in that opening run and finished with 20 points herself.

Three of the higher-seeded teams advanced in the CCC women's tournament but the fourth was an upset, as seventh-seeded Endicott knocked off second-seeded Roger Williams 73-59. Katelyn Wright led four scorers in double figures with 17 points for the Gulls, shooting 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

Top seeds all advanced in the Little East, Great Northeast Athletic Conference, MASCAC, ODAC, NEAC, NAC and NECC ... you get the picture, a typical day in women's basketball first rounds.

The upsets are notable in their absence. For example, in the Capital Athletic Conference, fifth-seeded York (Pa.) overcame an 18-point first-half deficit to knock off No. 4 seed Christopher Newport 73-65. Sam Hruz scored a game-high 22 points to help the Spartans improve to 12-14 overall but reach the CAC semifinals for the 10th consecutive season.

Similarly the only upset in the NCAC was a 4/5 game, as Emily Julius scored a game-high 24 points to lead Ohio Wesleyan past Oberlin 75-58. In the NACC, fifth-seeded Concordia-Chicago defeated fourth-seeded Concordia (Wis.) 65-58. 

The biggest turnaround might have been the one by Augsburg, which went up to Concordia-Moorhead as the No. 6 seed in the MIAC tournament and came back a 56-50 winner. Abbey Luger scored a game-high 21 points in the win. Three days earlier, the Auggies had lost at Concordia-Moorhead, 69-53.