|C.J. Barnes was a big reason why Moravian had a 46-7 bench scoring advantage against Drew in the Landmark Conference semifinals.
Photo by Nateesa Benton, Moravian College
Moravian, Ramapo and Lebanon Valley held on for overtime wins at home while UW-Oshkosh held off UW-La Crosse in Wednesday night's conference tournament action.
- Wednesday's scoreboard: Men | Women
- Conference tournament trackers: Men | Women
- Third set of NCAA regional rankings: Men | Women
- More headlines: Men | Women
Moravian appeared to have victory in hand in its Landmark Conference semifinal matchup with Drew when the Greyhounds led the Rangers 80-74 with 41 seconds left in regulation. Drew cut the lead to one quickly on a Mike Boice layup and Riley Collins three-pointer. Moravian's Nicholas Casazza was fouled with 20 seconds left and split his free throws, giving the Rangers a chance to tie, which they did on Yonathan Napoleon's jumper with four seconds left. The Greyhounds scored the first five points in overtime and made enough free throws down the stretch to finish off Drew, 96-91. Recap
Jimmy Murray paced the Greyhounds with 24 points and C.J. Barnes and Casazza combined for 38 points off the bench. Napoleon had 29 points and Nate Aldrich posted a double-double (19 points, 16 rebounds) for Drew. Moravian will head to Juniata for the Landmark Conference final on Saturday. The Eagles took care of Catholic 77-70 thanks to Marcus Lee's 23-point, seven-rebound performance.
Lycoming rallied from a double-digit second-half deficit at Lebanon Valley and forced overtime, but the Flying Dutchmen eliminated the Warriors 76-75 on clutch free throw shooting from Sam Light. After trailing 58-48 with six minutes left in the second half, Lycoming tied the game on Ronald Jefferson's three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining. Jefferson again made a clutch shot late in overtime to give the Warriors a 75-74 lead with 28 seconds left. Lebanon Valley called time out and gave the ball to Sam Light who drove to the lane and got fouled. Light made both free throws and Lycoming could only muster an off-balance desparation three at the buzzer that missed the mark.
Ramapo also rallied from a double-digit second-half deficit, and the Roadrunners completed the comeback in overtime, beating Montclair State 80-76. Trailing 68-67, Ramapo got a couple of breaks when the Red Hawks first threw the ball out of bounds and then called a timeout they didn't have while trying to control a defensive rebound. Ramapo's Patrick Peterson made one of two technical free throws to send the game to overtime where the Roadrunners eventually pulled away.
Peterson finished with 24 points for Ramapo, which will host William Paterson in the NJAC title game. The sixth-seeded Pioneers continued their Cinderella run with an 95-86 win at TCNJ in the other NJAC semifinal.
TCNJ will have a nervous wait to see if it receives an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The latest set of regional rankings released Wednesday afternoon slotted the Lions behind at least two Atlantic teams that are also hoping for at-large bids. Gwynedd-Mercy dropped into that category when Neumann ousted the Griffins from the CSAC tournament, 102-85. The Knights will play top-seed Cabrini which defeated Rosemont 91-72.
The only Top 25 ranked men's team in action kept its season alive, as No. 19 UW-Oshkosh topped UW-La Crosse 76-74 in the WIAC tournament quarterfinal. La Crosse led the Titans 74-72 with 1:46 to play but Oshkosh shut out the Eagles the rest of the way. Jack Flynn's layup with four seconds left sent Oshkosh through to the WIAC semifinals where UW-Stevens Point awaits. In the other WIAC playoff game UW-River Falls overcame 34 points from Derek Rongstad and eliminated the Warhawks 79-68.
Not all home teams fared well on Wednesday night. For the third year in a row, both home teams lost in the MAC Freedom semifinals. DeSales shot 55 percent in the second half and edged Eastern 74-69 while Misericordia went on the road and beat top-seed Wilkes 72-58.
In another relatively quiet night of women's action, No. 11 Scranton and Juniata are headed for a rubber match in the Landmark Conference final after dispatching their semifinal opponents. The Lady Royals overpowered the Greyhounds in the second half for a 67-45 win that pushes their winning streak to 20 games. Juniata easily defeated Elizabethtown 78-55.
The MAC Commonwealth will also have a winner-take-all third game between its top two teams. No. 15 Messiah shut down Stevenson 67-42 and Albright stifled Lycoming 56-45. The Falcons and Lions split the regular season series with each team winning at home. Messiah will host Saturday's championship game.
For the first time since 2010 a team besides La Roche will represent the AMCC in the NCAA women's basketball tournament. Ali Rinfrette played all 40 minutes and scored 24 points as Pitt-Bradford defeated the Redhawks 78-69. The Panthers will play Mount Aloysius in the AMCC tournament semifinals held at top-seed Hilbert on Saturday.