Saturday women: Calvin wins, Falcons fly

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Abby Springer and Calvin enter the MIAA tournament on a very high note after beating Hope 88-77.
Calvin athletics photo

The last two Top 25 showdowns of the regular season lived up to their billing as No. 23 Calvin gave No. 3 Hope its first loss and No. 13 UW-River Falls beat No. 14 UW-Oshkosh for the WIAC title.

No. 3 Hope already had the MIAA title in hand when it entered VanNoord Arena on Saturday, but the Flying Dutch were trying to complete a perfect regular season. Archrival Calvin denied Hope that feat as the Knights beat the Flying Duth 88-77. Recap

Calvin (20-5, 14-2 MIAA) shot 12-for-22 from three with Tiffany Karger hitting five of her seven attempts. Anna Timmer paced the Knights' balanced attack with 18 points as six Calvin players scored double-figures. Angelique Gaddy scored 22 points for Hope (24-1, 15-1 MIAA).

The other three teams bidding to complete perfect regular seasons did so on Saturday. No. 1 Thomas More mashed St. Vincent 94-46 and Sydney Moss became the all-time scoring leader in Presidents' Athletic Conference women's basketball history. Moss scored 30 points on Saturday giving her 2,103 in her three seasons at Thomas More. 

Justine Benner tallied 24 points and 10 rebounds as No. 2 George Fox took care of Linfield 71-61. The Bruins (25-0, 16-0) have run the table in the NWC three of the last five seasons. No. 4 Scranton blasted Catholic 84-59 to complete its second perfect regular season in program history. The Royals put the game away early by outscoring the Cardinals 24-5 in the first quarter.

No. 13 UW-River Falls jumped out to a 34-17 lead on No. 14 UW-Oshkosh at home and held off the Titans 63-56 to win its first WIAC title since 1989. Brynn Liljander scored 22 points in 38 minutes for the Falcons (21-4, 12-2 WIAC) on 7-for-15 shooting. The Titans (20-5, 11-3) got 17 points from Taylor Schmidt and 13 from Eliza Campbell.

The frenetic race for first in the CAC ended with Marymount on top after the Saints beat No. 16 Christopher Newport 52-46. The Captains (22-3, 15-3 CAC) committed 22 turnovers and saw their 17-game winning streak come to an end. Kievanna Lacey scored 23 points for Marymount (21-4, 16-2) and shot 12-for-14 from the free throw line.

Gabrielle Holness scored 19 points and Rebekah Ehresman added 19 more as Illinois Wesleyan beat Elmhurst 75-69 to earn a share of the CCIW title. The Titans are co-champions with No. 21 Wheaton (Ill.) which avenged an earlier loss to Augustana by beating the Vikings 67-57. Augustana led 55-48 entering the fourth period before the Thunder held the Vikings to two points in the final frame. Wheaton will host the CCIW tournament since it swept both games from Illinois Wesleyan in the regular season. 

No. 18 University of New England beat Salve Regina 78-60, giving the Nor'easters a 17-game winning streak and Anthony Ewing his 200th career coaching victory. UNE's seniors have never lost a conference game at home and they will host throughout the CCC playoffs.

Sasha Williams and Stockton will get another shot at Rowan after advancing out of the NJAC tournament's first round.
Stockton athletics file photo 

The NJAC tournament opened with a thriller as William Paterson outlasted Kean 91-83 in overtime. Brittany Harden flirted with a triple-double. The Pioneers' senior guard notched 26 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and scored 11 points in overtime to lift William Paterson (14-11) into the next round where top-seeded Montclair State awaits. Marajiah Bacon, who leads Division III women's basketball with 24.2 points per game, scored 37 for the Cougars (15-10).

In the NJAC's other semifinal Stockton avenged an earlier loss to Rutgers-Camden by knocking the Scarlet Raptors out of the playoffs 61-54. Sasha Williams posted 22 points and 17 rebounds for the Ospreys (21-5) who travel to Rowan for the semifinals.

In the first round of the NESCAC tournament, Colby knocked off Connecticut College 75-66. The Camels (17-7) lost their leading scorer Mairead Hynes two minutes into the game and could not find enough offense to overcome MaryKate Caverly's 23 points. The White Mules (15-10) will play No. 6 Tufts next Saturday in the semifinals. The Jumbos eased past Middlebury 68-36 while No. 7 Amherst throttled Bates 82-29.

Marywood will enter its conference tournament as the top seed for the first ever after the Pacers topped Gwynedd-Mercy 51-45. Gabrielle Giordano scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Marywood (18-7, 15-1 CSAC).

St. John Fisher edged Stevens 75-72 in a battle of the top two teams in the NCAA's most recent East regional rankings. Mary Kate Cusack had 24 points for the Cardinals (22-3, 15-1 E8) who split the season series with the Ducks. Stevens will host the Empire 8 tournament next week via the conference's fourth tie breaker.