Wednesday men's wrapup: January begins

Ethan Bublitz fights through the contact on his way to the rim with two of his 12 points as No. 12 UW-Stevens Point defeated No. 10 UW-Whitewater in the teams' WIAC opener. (Photo by Steve Frommell,
Ethan Bublitz fights through the contact on his way to the rim with two of his 12 points as No. 12 UW-Stevens Point defeated No. 10 UW-Whitewater in the teams' WIAC opener.
Photo by Steve Frommell,

Conference play got underway in many locations across Division III men's basketball on Wednesday night, including Wisconsin, Virginia and Massachusetts, with Stevens Point, MIT and Christopher Newport posting key wins.

No. 12 UW-Stevens Point rattled off 10 unanswered points in the first half to roll out to a nine-point lead and the Pointers led by as many as 20 against No. 10 UW-Whitewater in the teams' WIAC opener in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. It's the first loss of the season against 11 victories for the Warhawks. Drew Fredrickson scored a game-high 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting, while Ethan Bublitz added 12 points and Canon O'Heron 11 more as the Pointers improved to 9-2, 1-0 in the WIAC.

No. 7 MIT rolled past WPI, handing their Engineer opponents a 74-44 defeat in the NEWMAC opener for both teams. WPI entered the game at 9-2. WPI came out strong on both ends of the court as the Engineers jumped to a 10-2 lead through 3:53 following a layup by Kahleb Downing, but MIT (11-1, 1-0) finished on a 72-34 run. AJ Jurko had 25 points and eight assists for the victorious Engineers. 

Jason Aigner converted three free throw attempts with ten seconds left Wednesday night, as No. 18 Christopher Newport completed a come-from-behind effort to beat York (Pa.), 73-71 in the teams' Capital Athletic Conference opener. The Spartans led by as many as 12 midway through the second half and were up by six with 2:46 before the Captains (11-1, 1-0) scored 11 of the final 14 points. Marcus Carter led CNU with 17 points and Aigner scored 16, all in the second half. York fell to 7-5, 0-1.

No. 6 UW-Oshkosh got 27 points and 10 rebounds from Brett Wittchow as the Titans put five scorers in double figures in a 96-70 win against UW-Platteville. The Titans (11-1, 1-0 WIAC) held the Pioneers (7-5, 0-1) to 36 percent shooting from the floor and just 8-for-25 shooting from 3-point range.

An early second-half dry spell wound up putting the game just out of reach for North Central (Ill.) as the Cardinals lost a 76-59 decision to No. 3 Augustana. The Vikings held the Cardinals scoreless for seven minutes and scored 12 unanswered points to put the game out of reach. Nolan Ebel led all scorers with 16 points for Augustana, which also got 15 points from Orange and 14 each from Martin and Pierson Wofford. Cardinals forward Blaise Meredith survived a scary moment after hitting his head on the backboard.

Nichols bounced back from Sunday's loss to Salisbury as the No. 16 Bison won at Tufts 87-81. Marcos Echevarria scored a game-high 22 points and hit five 3-pointers in the process. He now has 407 for his career, more than anyone else outside of a program which runs The System.

Top-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan scored the first 13 points and sprinted to a 37-8 lead en route to its 25th consecutive win, defeating Buena Vista 83-59. Ryan Garver scored a game-high 23 points, while Cooper Cook added 20 in the win for the Prairie Wolves (11-0, 2-0 ARC).

No. 17 Rochester shook off the rust of a 22-day layoff to rally for a 68-60 win at Catholic. The Cardinals (4-8) got a 3-pointer from Collin Hartman to go up 53-46 in the second half before the Yellowjackets scored the next seven points, then went on an 11-0 run to lead 64-57 and put the game away. Jacob Wittig led Rochester (10-1) with 16 points and six assists.

No. 25 Scranton improved to 12-0 on the season and wrapped up its non-conference schedule with a 71-59 vs. Gettysburg. Logan Bailey scored a game-high 20 points to pace the Royals, while Kyle DeVerna added 18 points and five rebounds.

Jack Coolahan drained a 3-pointer from the right corner with 1.0 seconds remaining to help the Beavers defeat Springfield, 67-64, in the NEWMAC opener. Babson has won three of its past four games to improve to 8-4, while Springfield is 3-9 after last year's Final Four run. Coolahan scored a game-high 21 while going 8-for-12 from the field.

St. Olaf continued to put its poor start behind it as Austin Korba had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Oles to a 63-54 win. Korba scored 16 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to help St. Olaf (6-4, 5-0 MIAC) outscore the Royals (6-5, 3-3 MIAC) by a 38-24 margin in the final 20 minutes. It's six consecutive wins after an 0-4 start to the season for the Oles.