Thursday: Champs in bubble trouble

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David Stokman scored 23 points on 8-for-11 in the Johnnies' MIAC semifinal win over rival St. Thomas. More photos here.
Photo by Caleb Williams,

St. John's edged St. Thomas out of the MIAC tournament 80-78 and pushed the defending national champions onto the bubble for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

The rivals played an extremely tight contest with neither leading by more than a possession for the final eight-plus minutes of the game. David Stokman's jump shot gave St. John's the lead 78-76 with 35 seconds to play. St. Thomas point guard Grant Schaeffer answered with two free throws to pull the Tommies even with 28 seconds. On the Johnnies' next possession, Stokman penetrated and found Garrett Goetz on the wing, and he hit a 12-foot jumper with two seconds left to put the Johnnies in front. The teams traded timeouts and St. Thomas was unable to set up a final shot. Recap

Stokman scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half for St. John's (19-8). Shaeffer had 21 points and seven assists in 40 minutes for St. Thomas (19-7). The Tommies were slotted third in this week's West region rankings.

St. John's will meet Bethel in the MIAC title game on Saturday. The Royals snapped Carleton's 14-game winning streak and knocked the Knights out of the MIAC tournament, 57-53. In a game where both offenses struggled, Bethel scored 22 points off Carleton's 19 turnovers. Photo gallery

The IIAC title game will feature the lowest two seeds in the tournament. Wartburg erased a 10-point halftime deficit and topped Loras 92-89 as Jaran Sabus had a clutch three-point play late in the game to put the Knights ahead by four and then scored a layup with 13 seconds left to help seal the win. Sabus finished with 35 points for sixth-seeded Wartburg (18-9). Central breezed past top-seed Nebraska Wesleyan 85-63 as the Prairie Wolves shot 5-for-25 from three.

No. 2 Whitman kept its perfect run in tact with ease as the Blues blasted George Fox, 105-75. They will get at least one more game with No. 4 Whitworth after the Pirates dispatched Linfield 76-64 in the other NWC semifinal.

The top two seeds also advanced to the WIAC tournament championship game. UW-Oskhosh had four starters and one reserve player score double figures in a 75-61 victory over No. 19 UW-Whitewater (Photo gallery). The Titans will play No. 6 UW-River Falls which took care of UW-La Crosse 68-55. 

No. 20 Salisbury survived a nailbiter in the CAC tournament semifinals as the Sea Gulls outlasted York (Pa.) 86-80 in double overtime. Gordon Jeter scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Salisbury which will get a rubber match with No. 3 Christopher Newport in the CAC title game (Photo gallery). Salisbury coach Andy Sachs joined Dave McHugh on Hoopsville after the victory.

The Captains cruised past Marymount 78-53, extending their winning streak to 18 games.In a game delayed a day by a power outage, DeSales destroyed Delaware Valley 79-57, eliminating the top-seeded Aggies from the MAC Freedom playoffs. Kweku Dawson-Amoah picked up a double-double for the Bulldogs with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Delaware Valley shot 3-for-26 in the loss. With top two seeds in the bracket eliminated, Misericordia will host DeSales for the title on Saturday.

Worcester State kept its Cinderella run in the MASCAC tournament going. The Lancers improved to 10-17 and moved one step away from the NCAA tournament by upsetting Fitchburg State, 71-68. They will face Salem State in the championship game on Saturday.

Westfield State celebrates its 97-95 double-overtime victory over Bridgewater State in the MASCAC tournament semifinal on Thursday night.
Photo by Rick Sgalia, Westfield State athletics

The NWC women's tournament got off to a thrilling start while Louisiana College ousted ASC tournament host Howard Payne on Thursday night.

No. 6 Puget Sound trailed Lewis and Clark for much of the game in their NWC tournament semifinal, including a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter. But the Loggers stormed back and took a 61-58 lead on Jamie Lang's three-point play with two seconds remaining. The Pioneers called timeout to advance the ball but their desperation three was off the mark, setting off a raucus celebration with UPS students storming the floor. Lange led Puget Sound with 29 points and 17 rebounds while Ayisat Afolabi finished her career at Lewis and Clark with a 30-point, 20-rebound performance. Box score

Puget Sound will face No. 17 Whitman in the NWC final since the Blues went on the road and beat No. 24 George Fox 78-71. Four starters scored double figures for Whitman led by Chelsi Brewer's 20 points. The Bruins, who were ranked fifth in the NCAA's West Region rankings entering the week, will wait to see whether they receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

In the other battle of Top 25 teams, No. 15 Mary Washington nipped No. 25 Marymount 56-54 in overtime of the CAC semifinals. Meghan scored 12 points for the Eagles including all seven of their points in overtime and the game-winning jump shot with two seconds remaining. Mary Washington will face No. 12 Christopher Newport in the CAC title game after the Captains handled York (Pa.), 73-52. Photo gallery

Louisiana College upset ASC tournament host Howard Payne 76-72 in the first round of the ASC tournament. As the top seed in the West Division, Howard Payne is hosting the three-day tournament. Texas-Dallas and Texas-Tyler advanced to the semifinals where they'll be joined by Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Westfield State's Jill Valley outscored Bridgewater State's Jennie Lindland 39-38 and Valley's team outscored Lindland's team 97-95 as the Owls won a double-overtime thriller in the MASCAC semifinals. With 46 seconds left in the second extra period Valley made a jump shot to put the Owls in front 97-93. Sara DaSilva answered with a bucket on Bridgewater State's ensuing possesion to cut the lead in half. Westfield State turned the ball over, creating the potential for a third overtime. But the Bears missed two shots on their final possession, including a layup with one second remaining.