Saturday men: Home is where the hurt is

Ben Boots scored 20 points to lead UW-Oshkosh to a road victory over Wittenberg 68-60 on Saturday night
Photo by

So much for home court advantage. Road teams won by small margins and large as Ramapo, UW-Oshkosh, Hamilton, Springfield and MIT, among others, beat home teams in the second round of the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament.

All four home teams in the upper left quadrant lost, including Williams which fell to Ramapo in Williamstown, 66-62. Ramapo held Williams scoreless for three-plus minutes down the stretch and the Roadrunners went 6-for-6 from the foul line to claim the victory. James Heskett's three gave Williams the lead briefly, 59-58, but Ramapo immediately answered with two free throws from Chris Mosely. The Roadrunners (23-6) outscored the Ephs by eight in the paint and outrebounded them 45-24. Thomas Bonacum exploded for 33 points and 13 rebounds for Ramapo, which became the first NJAC team to advance to the sectionals since Richard Stockton (now Stockton) in 2014.

The other three games in that quadrant had less dramatic finishes. Franklin and Marshall got 19 points from Brandon Federici on 7-for-21 shooting and the Diplomats (22-6) defeated Christopher Newport 66-52. Federci's jumper with 2:26 left capped a 7-0 run that put the game out of reach. Middlebury jumped out to a big lead at Easter Connecticut and eliminated the Warriors 83-58. The Panthers (21-6) outrebounded Eastern Connecticut 27-6 in the first half and 54-26 overall. Jack Daly flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 11 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. MIT pulled away from Johns Hopkins in the second half to win the battle of the braniacs, 62-54. AJ Jurko scored 24 points in 39 minutes for the Engineers (24-5).

UW-Oshkosh built a big halftime lead, watched it turn into a three-point deficit and then came back to put away Wittenberg in Ohio, 68-60. The Titans (22-7) controlled the first half, shooting 50 percent and forcing nine Wittenberg turnovers on their way to a 34-19 halftime lead. The Tigers regrouped at the half and came back to take a 54-51 lead with four minutes left to play. On Oshkosh's next possession, Ben Boots missed a layup but Brett Wittchow grabbed the offensive rebound and found Charlie Noone for the game-tying three. A couple minutes later Boots hit a three to put the Titans up thre and Noone hit another to effectively put the game away.

Boots led Oshkosh with 20 points and five assists, and Noone added 12 on four 3-pointers. Chad Roy scored 13 for Wittenberg (27-3).

Emory was one of the few home teams to win, though the Eagles had to withstand a rally from LeTourneau to do so. After Christopher Avant's layup gave Emory (23-4) an 83-79 lead with 34 seconds left, Nate West nailed a three to pull LeTourneau within one. Avant lost the ball on Emory's next possession but West's would-be game-winner was off the mark. The Eagles grabbed the rebound and eventually ran out the clock for the 83-82 victory. Avant posted 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for Emory. West and Alec Colhoff combined to score 49 for the Yellow Jackets.

Augustana didn't appear to have tired legs after outrunning System-team Greenville on Friday night. The Vikings defeated Hope 95-83 behind a 30-point night for Dylan Sortillo, who drilled seven 3-pointers for Augustana (24-5). Jason Beckman and Dante Hawkins combined for 46 points for Hope, but the Flying Dutchmen (19-10) shot just 2-for-19 from three. 

The Vikings will play John Carroll next since the Blue Streaks won their intrastate battle with Wooster, 91-85. Matthew Csuhran scored 25 points in 25 minutes and John Cirillo chipped in 11 points and 11 rebounds for John Carroll (25-5). 

Recap continues below

Springfield sophomore Jake Ross scored from everywhere, including the foul line, in the Pride's 96-88 win over Cabrini.
Photo by David Howell, Cabrini University athletics

The lower right quadrant also had three road teams advance.

Springfield hit a flurry of threes early and withstood Cabrini's press defense late to eliminate the Cavaliers in suburban Philadelphia, 96-88. The Pride (20-8) shot 10-for-12 from three in the first half and tied a school record with 16 threes in the game. Cabrini used a trapping full-court press to draw within two in the second half but Springfield went 26-for-37 from the foul line and held on for the win. Springfield's super sophomore Jake Ross scored 31 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the field, including 5-for-5 from three, and also went 10-for-14 from the foul line. Tyheim Monroe scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Cabrini (25-4). He finishes his career with the sixth most rebounds in Division III men's basketball history.

Swarthmore rolled past Wesleyan 97-75 and into the sectional round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Garnet (24-5) had five players reach double figures, led by Cam Wiley who filled the stat sheet with 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Swarthmore shot 50 percent from the field (32-for-64) and 96 percent from the foul line (21-for-22).

Plattsburgh State was the only home team in the quadrant to win, beating Union 87-75, and is now in good shape to host the sectionals next weekend,. Jonathan Patron continued his late-season surge, scoring 39 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. The Cardinals (24-4) took care of the ball, picking up 20 assists to just nine turnovers. 

Hamilton won a tight affair over York (Pa.) 69-66 in Central Pennsylvania, earning the Continentals their first trip to the sectional round in 15 years. Hamilton led the Spartans 66-64 with a little under four minutes when both teams went into a funk. The Continentals and Spartans combined for six turnovers, three missed field goals and three missed free throws over a three minute span. The Spartans pulled within one point, 67-66, with 19.9 seconds left but Hamilton added two free throws and the Spartans missed two shots in the remaining time. Kena Gilmour had 20 points and seven rebounds for Hamilton (24-4).

The clock struck midnight on the Cinderella teams who won thrillers on Friday night. 

UW-Stevens Point held Bethany Lutheran to 29 percent shooting (15-for-52) and pounded the Vikings 82-44 in Collegeville, Minn. Canon O'Heron scored 30 points in 31 minutes for the Pointers (21-8) who earned a rematch with No. 1 Whitman. The Blues defeated UW-Stevens Point 77-64 at the Classic on Dec. 29.

Aurora couldn't slow down Nebraska Wesleyan and the Prairie Wolves ran past the Spartans 82-61. After Max Vickers' three gave Aurora the lead 33-32 early in the second half, Nebraska Wesleyan scored the next 14 points with nine of them coming from Deion Wells-Ross on three 3-point plays. Cooper Cook scored 17 points for the Prairie Wolves (26-3) who will play UW-Platteville next. The Pioneers had four of its five starters score double figures, led by Robert Duax with 19 points, in a 74-68 win over St. Olaf.