Men: Seven ranked teams upset Saturday afternoon

Kelvin Jones layup
Kelvin Jones and Hiram made scoring look easy vs. Wittenberg, especially in the second half.
Hiram athletics photo

At one point Saturday afternoon, York, Swarthmore, Eastern Connecticut and MIT all were losing in the second half, and No. 3 Wittenberg and No. 5 Middlebury had already lost. And that was how the day went in Division III men's basketball, with seven ranked teams losing to unranked opponents -- just in the afternoon games -- on a key Saturday with conference schedules winding down. UW-River Falls knocked off No. 19 UW-Whitewater 76-65 later in the day as well.

Hiram was on fire in the second half on Senior Day, as the Terriers hit 19 of 26 shots from the floor (73.1 percent) and were 4-for-8 from beyond the arc in pulling away from Wittenberg 94-71. Hiram (14-9, 10-6 NCAC) handed Wittenberg its first loss of the season in dominating fashion. Wittenberg trailed by seven late in the first half but got no closer as Hiram extended its advantage to 20 early in the second half and never looked back. Kelvin Jones had game-highs with 25 points and eight rebounds as Hiram outrebounded Wittenberg 35-22. On Senior Day, seniors Jones and Terrence Warren combined for 30 points in the second half on 11-of-12 shooting from the field.

Johns Hopkins fans stormed the floor on Saturday afternoon after an impressive and emotional week where the Blue Jays won two consecutive games against ranked conference opponents, both of them in double overtime. Saturday's victim was No. 11 Swarthmore, and the final margin in the back-and-forth game came as Michael Gardner hit an off-balance 3-pointer from the wing with 6.3 seconds left. The Garnet missed on a 3-pointer in the closing seconds and JHU held on for the 93-91 win. 

Joey Fitzpatrick had tied the game at 90 apiece when he scored on a putback of a missed Conner Delaney 3-pointer with 19.9 seconds left. Swarthmore hit one of two free throws at the other end, setting up Gardner's big shot. Jesse Flannery scored seven of JHU's 11 points in the first overtime, including two free throws with 0.5 seconds left to force the fourth and final frame.

MIT lost for the third time in four games since the injury to leading scorer Bradley Jomard, as the No. 12 Engineers fell 69-62 at Springfield. Andy McNulty registered 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting for the Pride (16-7, 10-2 NEWMAC), including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, to go along with six assists. Jake Ross added 20 points and 11 rebounds. MIT, which was 17-2 at the time of the injury, fell to 18-5, 8-4.

Six players scored in double figures for Salisbury as the Sea Gulls handed No. 7 York (Pa.) its first home loss of the season and just its third overall, 83-75. Chad Barcikowski led Salisbury (16-7, 12-4 CAC) with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Blair Davis had 10 points and a game-best nine assists. Gary Briddell, Mike Ward and James Foley scored 14, 13 and 11 off the bench, respectively, while Johnny Fierstein scored 12 as well.

Salisbury led by double digits midway through the second half before York (20-3, 13-3) rallied to tie the game at 70-70 with 2:25 left. But Barcikowski made a pair of foul shots and Fierstein hit a 3-pointer with 1:19 left to extend the lead back to 75-71 and the Sea Gulls held the Spartans off at the foul line.

No. 16 Lycoming led by as many as eight points in the second half, but Stevenson won for just the third time in 15 Commonwealth Conference games, upsetting the Warriors 71-68 and sending them to their third loss in four games. Lyco still led by as many as seven, 48-41, with 9:46 to go, but Stevenson (11-13, 3-12) went on a 12-0 run and was 10-for-12 from the foul line in the final minute. Kobe Colston hit four of those free throws en route to a team-high 20 points for the Mustangs. Lyco's Chris Wallace had 11 rebounds and 16 points, including a bucket at the buzzer to make the final margin three points. The win snapped a nine-game losing streak for Stevenson.

Brandon Williams Jr. grabbed his own miss and put it back with 20 seconds to go in overtime to lift Mass-Dartmouth to a 101-99 win vs. No. 10 Eastern Connecticut. Williams managed just six points in the second half, but scored eight of the Corsairs' 13 points in overtime to send the Warriors (20-3, 11-1 Little East) to their first conference defeat. The loss overshadowed the efforts of Tarchee Brown, who had a double-double, including a game-high 31 points. Jake Ashworth matched that total with 31 for Mass-Dartmouth (12-11, 5-7), while William added 28 and Atakan Akcam scored 18.

Amherst won its way to the top of the conference tournament seedings with its upset win vs. No. 5 Middlebury, but the Mammoths weren't the only team tied for first place when the NESCAC dust settled on Saturday afternoon. In fact, five teams finished 7-3 in the conference standings, including No. 8 Williams, which bounced back from its Friday night loss to win at No. 15 Hamilton, 81-67. Bobby Casey scored a game-high 31 points, including shooting 7-for-10 from 3-point range.

Senior Daniel Noe scored four of the final six points for the Yellow Jackets and had a key defensive stop and rebound in the final 10 seconds as Randolph-Macon nipped Emory & Henry 63-59 on Senior Day, giving the Yellow Jackets sole possession of first place in the ODAC. Emory & Henry (18-5, 10-4) has lost four games in a row. Following a turnover by R-MC, Noe contested a layup attempt and came up with the rebound with less than 10 seconds remaining. Noe was fouled and made both ends of a one-and-one to give the home team a 61-56 lead. John Shelor hit a 3-pointer for E&H with 4.7 seconds left to make it a two-point game but Buzz Anthony sank a pair of free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Behind Randolph-Macon and Emory & Henry, four teams stand at 9-5 in the ODAC, including Virginia Wesleyan, which defeated Guilford 67-58. Lamont Steward scored 19 points and had 11 rebounds for the Marlins. Roanoke helped force the tie as well, with an 84-66 win vs. Washington & Lee.

Host Nazareth shot the lights out in the first half (63 percent) to build a 16-point halftime margin and hung on for a 77-74 win Saturday over St. John Fisher, putting itself one win away from clinching the Empire 8's regular season title and top seed. As part of the rivalry's Battle of the Beaks, Nazareth presented a check to the Golisano Children's Hospital Music Therapy program at halftime for $5,310. The money was raised through t-shirt and ticket sales, along with 50-50 raffle.

New Jersey City got through the week unscathed as the No. 1 team in the Atlantic Region, defeating Ramapo 89-84 in a back-and-forth game. Sam Toney helped break open a tight game with two athletic plays in the final five minutes while assisting on a key 3-pointer by junior point guard Shaquan Worthy as the Gothic Knights improved to 19-5, 13-4 NJAC. They move within one game of Ramapo with one game left in the conference slate. TCNJ improved to 13-4 in the conference as well with a 94-78 win vs. Montclair State.

Catholic rallied from an 18-point deficit and remained in the driver's seat for the final playoff spot in the Landmark Conference tournament, defeating Scranton 81-79. The loss drops Scranton (11-12, 7-5 Landmark) into a fourth-place tie with Catholic (13-10, 7-5) in the Landmark Conference with two games to play. Catholic holds the tiebreaker thanks to a sweep of the season series. Jay Howard scored a game-high 32 points in the win. Moravian moved into a tie for first in the league with a 96-84 win vs. Juniata and Drew's 90-72 home loss vs. Susquehanna. The River Hawks got 38 points from Seth Callahan in the victory. 

Jalen Adams scored a game-high 34 points and added 17 rebounds for Olivet as the Comets defeated Adrian 81-78. With a win Wednesday against Hope, the Comets would all but assure themselves the right to host the MIAA tournament. The teams are tied for first in the conference standings. Hope defeated Alma 95-73 to keep pace.

Top-ranked Whitman remained undefeated, as six players scored in double figures in a 97-80 win vs. George Fox. ... Brent Hentges scored a team-high 17 in 19 minutes off the bench as No. 6 St. John's beat Augsburg 85-73. ... Twenty players got into the game for No. 9 UW-Platteville in the Pioneers' 87-50 win vs. UW-Eau Claire. No. 17 Illinois Wesleyan snapped a two-game losing streak and remained a half-game up in the CCIW standings with a 70-61 win vs. Carroll. No. 14 Augustana remained a half-game behind with an 83-74 win at Millikin.