Friday: Feeling better than just Albright

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Alysha Lofton filled the stat sheet as Albright shocked No. 1 Tufts at Montclair State's holiday tournament.
Albright athletics file photo

Albright scored the biggest upset of the Division III women's basketball season to date as the Lions knocked off top-ranked and undefeated Tufts, 62-59.

Despite an 18-day layoff, Tufts (9-1) did not look rusty at the start of its game against Albright. The Jumbos held the Lions to nine points in the first quarter and held a 34-24 halftime lead. Tufts held a 12-point lead midway through the third quarter when the Lions rallied. Devan Horka scored six consecutive points on two layups and two free throws to start a 13-0 Lions run. Jane Joyce made two free throws with 2:40 left to put Albright in front 58-57 and MiKaeyla Lee followed that up with a layup to extend the Lions' advantage to four points. Tufts managed just two points the rest of the way and the Lions completed the 62-59 victory.

Horka led Albright (7-4) in scoring with 17 points and Alysha Lofton added 13 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and three assists. The Lions blocked 14 Tufts shots, led by five swats from Lee.

Tufts' loss opens the door for defending champions Amherst to return to the top spot in the national poll. No. 3 Amherst held No. 6 Trine without a field goal for 10-plus minutes in the second half and ground out a 41-36 win at the Classic in Las Vegas.  

No. 4 Wartburg and No. 11 UW-Whitewater advanced through the first round of the Knights' holiday tournament to set up a Top 15 showdown in Iowa on Saturday. UW-Whitewater stayed perfect with a 68-60 over No. 17 Gustavus Adolphus. The Warhawks (10-0) shot 23-for-27 from the foul line and got 12 points apiece from Camri Conley, Malia Smith and Brooke Trewyn. Miranda Rice finished with 18 points and nine rebounds for Gustavus Adolphus (8-2).

After a slow start, Wartburg used a series of quarter-closing runs to beat UW-Superior 83-65. Wartburg (10-0) fell behind 20-10 with two minutes to play in the first period before finding its groove on offense. Kristie Sommer hit a three-pointer to start a 9-2 Wartburg run to close the first period and Emma Gerdes made three free throws to key a 14-2 run to close the second period. Amelia Leger's three-pointer pulled Superior (8-2) within three points at 54-51 with 2:54 to play in the third quarter but Wartburg responded with a 10-4 run capped by another three from Sommer. Box score

Kristie Sommer finished with 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting from three and sister Katie added 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Knights.

No. 7 Hope eeked out a 54-52 win over Mount Union at Bluffton's tournament. Trailing by eight with five minutes to play, Mount Union (4-6) scored the next eight points to tie the game with 48 seconds left. Hope (11-0) made one free throw on its next possession, and Mount Union missed on a shot on its ensuing possession. Madison Geers grabbed the rebound for Hope at one end of the court and then followed up her own miss with a tip-in at the other end to put the Flying Dutch in front 51-48. After the Purple Raiders cut the Hope lead to 51-50, Geers made two free throws to extend the lead again and Hope hung on to win. Geers tallied 21 points, 10 rebounds and five steals for Hope.

The Flying Dutch's arch rival Calvin fell to No. 21 Marietta 64-65 at Otterbein's Smokey Ballenger Classic. The Pioneers (10-0) got a lift from their reserves who outscored Calvin's 17-5. Ali Spayde scored 22 points in 40 minutes for Calvin (6-5). No. 20 Scranton was nearly perfect in the third quarter, shooting 10-for-11 from the field, and that was enough to provide a comfortable margin of victory over Wheaton (Ill.), 67-53.

Central senior guard Emily Dine became the 15th player in Division III women's basketball history to make 11 three-pointers in a game as she went 11-for-18 in the Dutch's 85-53 win over Knox. The all-time records is 15 in a game by William Paterson's Michelle Jones in 1991.

Men's recap follows below

Brad Benning and Augustana were out in front of Washington U. all night in Friday's Top 10 battle.
Photo by Danny Reise, Washington U. athletics

The first full day of Division III men's basketball since the Christmas break featured three battles of ranked teams where No. 3 Augustana, No. 19 Marietta and No. 25 York (Pa.) prevailed.

No. 3 Augustana jumped out to big lead early at No. 10 Washington U. and never looked back, as the Vikings cruised to a 72-57 win in St. Louis. Chrishawn Orange made back-to-back jump shots to stake Augustana (10-1) to a 14-3 lead four minutes into the game and the Vikings were not seriously threatened the rest of the way. Augustana led by 19 at the half and, after Washington U. cut the deficit to single digits with 6:47 to play, the Vikings answered with 6-0 run capped by another Orange score. Box score

Orange finished with 18 points, five rebounds and four steals but he had plenty of help. Nolan Ebel (16 points), Dylan Sortillo (12) and Micah Martin (10) also reached double figures. Andrew Sanders led the Bears (8-2) with 21 points.

No. 25 York (Pa.) won a thriller at Washington and Lee's tournament as the Spartans held off No. 2 Middlebury 90-87 in overtime. York (10-0) led by 12 points in the second half but allowed the Panthers to climb back into the game by shooting 50 percent from the foul line (16-for-32). York forced overtime on a layup by Blayde Reich with 24 seconds left and a defensive stop by Jason Bady on the Panthers' final possession in regulation.

Overtime was a replay of the end of regulation as the Spartans built a comfortable lead, struggled from the foul line and watched Middlebury rally. Trailing by two with nine seconds left, Panthers forced a York turnover on a five-second violation but Reich stole the inbounds pass to preserve the victory.

The Spartans improve to 10-0 for the first time in the program's 49-year history. Middlebury drops to 6-1.

No. 19 Marietta turned 18 Hanover turnovers into 18 points and the Pioneers defeated the 16th ranked Panthers, 63-53. Both teams struggled to make shots with field goal percentages below 40 percent but Marietta (8-2) took advantage of Hanover's mistakes and advanced to play Wittenberg in the final of that tournament. The Tigers (10-0) had no problems staying undefeated as they hammered Ohio State Chillicothe 95-46.

Friday was a lost day for the NJAC's ranked teams as No. 6 Ramapo and No. 17 New Jersey City both fell. The Roadrunners (9-3) lost a 19-point lead and eventually lost the game to Central, 74-69. Kyle Smith scored 20 points for the Dutch (4-7). Johns Hopkins used a 17-2 second-half run to defeat the Gothic Knights 72-56 at Christopher Newport's tournament. Michael Gardner scored a career-high 30 points for the Blue Jays (8-1).

The day wasn't much better for the NESCAC. Along with Middlebury's loss, No. 5 Williams fell to Hamline 73-71 in a back-and-forth battle at Cal Lutheran. Zach Smith made a jumper with a minute left to give Hamline (5-5) a 71-69 lead and then added two more free throws to put the game out of reach. Smith finished with 31 points while James Heskett scored 24 for Williams (8-2). Box score

Emory and Henry stayed perfect with a dramatic 85-82 win over Alma in overtime at Wooster's Mose Hole Classic. John Shelor scored 26 points for the Wasps (10-0) who face Wooster in the tournament final tomorrow. The Scots nipped WPI 76-75 on an Eric Bulic free throw with one second remaining. Emory finished a solid week with an 87-83 victory over Transylvania, following yesterday's victory over Illinois Wesleyan. Adam Gigax scored the 1,000th point of his career to help the Eagles improve to 8-2.

After a layoff of nearly a month, Puget Sound returned to the court with a loss to Calvin, 93-84. The Knights (4-6) won despite 29 turnovers in large part because of a monster game from Derrick DeVries (36 points, 10 rebounds). Box score

Muskingum's Marcus Dempsey scored 57 points on 19-for-30 shooting, but Oberlin outlasted the Muskies 111-104. Three players scored at least 20 points for the Yoemen led by Eli Silverman-Lloyd with 31. Dimitrius Underwood notched a triple-double (14 points, 18 assists, 13 rebounds) and Texas-Dallas outscored Rhodes 117-105. Box score