Wednesday: Action packed MAC

Freshman guard Marcus Robinson has the Wilkes men's basketball team one win away from the NCAA Tournament.
Wilkes athletics file photo by Steve Finkermagel

The MAC Freedom Conference opened its tournaments with two overtime games and two last-second game winning shots while the MAC Commonwealth is guaranteed to have a first-time champion on the men's side.

All four homestanding men's teams in the two MAC tournaments lost at home on Wednesday night.

On the Freedom side, Wilkes closed the first half of its game at top-seed DeSales on a 22-5 run, and the Colonels held off the Bulldogs for a 72-62 victory. Freshman guard Marcus Robinson paced Wilkes with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Tyliek Kimbrough's jumper with 0.8 seconds left lifted Delaware Valley over Misericordia 58-57 in the other semifinal. The Aggies will host Wilkes in the title game on Saturday.

On the Commonwealth side, Lycoming shot 54 percent at Alvernia and eliminated the three-time defending conference champions 69-52. Arcadia edged second seed Lebanon Valley 71-67 to set up a championship game between two teams without a MAC Commonwealth title. Lycoming's last conference title was in 1995 when the MAC Freedom and Commonwealth were one conference and Arcadia has not won a title since joining the conference in 2009.

The NJAC also lost its top seed when TCNJ hit its first seven 3-point attempts en route to a 92-82 win at New Jersey City. The Lions finished with 12 3-pointers, including four by Eric Murdock, who scored a career-high 36 points. TCNJ will try to make it three road wins in a row when it heads to Stockton on Saturday. The Ospreys ousted Rutgers-Newark 95-75 thanks to 23 points from Jaymere Hadden and 21 points from Maurice Hart.

UW-Stevens Point's reign as national champions officially ended when the sixth-seeded Pointers lost at UW-Eau Claire 77-62 in the first round of the WIAC tournament. UW-River Falls topped UW-Whitewater for the third time this season, this time by a score of 80-66. This will be the first time since 2002 that neither Stevens Point nor Whitewater makes the NCAA tournament.

Brendan Boken notched 24 points, putting him five short of Scranton's all-time scoring record, but Susquehanna eliminated the Royals in the Landmark semifinals, 77-72. The Crusaders head to top-seed Catholic which defeated Juniata 79-66. Four of the Cardinals' starters scored double figures, led by Bryson Fonville (23 points).

On the women's side, the top two seeds in the MAC Freedom tournament won overtime thrillers. DeSales edged Manhattanville 69-68 on a Morgan McCollian bucket at the buzzer. After trailing for most of the game, Manhattanville forced overtime on a Bri Pabon three-pointer with 15 seconds left. McCollian finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds.

In the other semifinal, FDU-Florham fended off Delaware Valley 68-64 in overtime. Eireann Anastasi's layup tied the game for Delaware Valley with four seconds left in regulation, but the Aggies struggled to score when she fouled out midway through overtime. Shallette Brown finished with 26 points and 21 rebounds for FDU-Florham, giving her 54 points and 43 rebounds in the last two games against Delaware Valley.

Both ranked women's teams won their semifinal games on Wednesday night. No. 3 Scranton eased past Susquehanna 66-38 in the Landmark Conference tournament, setting up a rematch of last year's title game against Catholic. The Cardinals upended Moravian 84-77 in overtime as Melissa Errico wracked up 27 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and two blocks for Catholic.

No. 11 Albright took care of Lebanon Valley 71-62 to set up a rubber match with Messiah. The Falcons and Lions split their regular season series with each winning at home.

Cabrini started the season with four losses and entered the CSAC tournament as the third seed, but now the Cavaliers are one home win away from returning to the NCAA Tournament. Cabrini knocked off Gywnedd Mercy 67-56 and will host fourth seed Neumann which eliminated top seed Marywood 63-58. Cabrini has won the last three CSAC titles.