NWU moves on in final seconds; Springfield in OT

More news about: Nebraska Wesleyan | Springfield
Nate Schimonitz, four shots of the game-winner
Nate Schimonitz hit the game-winning jumper over the outstretched hands of UW-Platteville defender Matt Oestreich. 
Photos by Steve Frommell (top) and Kylie Bridenhagen, d3photography.com

Nate Schimonitz scored with 3.1 seconds left in the game to win at UW-Platteville, while Springfield defeated Hamilton in overtime to advance to the Elite Eight in thrilling games. Ramapo pulled away from Franklin & Marshall to advance, while Augustana did the same to get past John Carroll.

Nate Schimonitz drove from the top of the key and finished with a layup with 3.1 seconds left in the game to give Nebraska Wesleyan a 79-78 win at UW-Platteville in the Sweet 16 of the 2018 Division III men's basketball tournament.

Trailing by seven with 2:29 left in the game, UW-Platteville got back-to-back 3-pointers from Matt Oestreich and Robert Duax to cut the Nebraska Wesleyan lead to 75-74. After the teams traded baskets to make it 77-76, Cooper Cook missed a putback in the lane. With the shot clock off, Trey Sigel threw up a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left and missed, but Duax got the offensive rebound and scored with 13.9 remaining to give the Pioneers the lead. 

On Platteville's final possession, the Pioneers (24-5) were unable to get the ball past halfcourt. Schimonitz led the Prairie Wolves (27-3) with 27 points. Duax scored 22 points for Platteville, 17 of them in the first half. He had been shut out in the second half before his 3-pointer cut the lead to one.

The big shots

The rematch of one of the D3hoops.com Classic's centerpiece games turned out much the same, as No. 1-ranked Whitman forced 15 first-half turnovers to end UW-Stevens Point's postseason run, defeating the Pointers 65-55. The Blues (29-1) used a 14-4 run to blow the game open and led by as many as 22 points before a late flurry cut the final deficit to 10. Tim Howell scored a game-high 18 for Whitman, shooting 8-for-13 from the floor, while Austin Butler added 10 points and four steals. UW-Stevens Point was led by 14 points from Drew Frederickson and 12 from Mark Nelson in finishing 21-9 after starting the season 6-5.

Jake McNulty
Andy McNulty had defenders in his face on his game-winning shot.
Springfield athletics photo

Jake Ross scored 36 points in Springfield’s 92-90 overtime win over Hamilton in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, but it was an assist that made the difference. Down six with a minute to go, the Continentals missed four free throws leaving Springfield with a chance to tie. Senior Andy McNulty hit a deep, contested three from the top of the key, off a pass from Ross to send the game into an extra frame, where the Pride controlled tempo and scoring, holding on to win and advance to the round of eight. Kena Gilmour led Hamilton with 40 points on the night. Both teams shot better than 50 percent on the night in a game with 18 lead changes. 

"It was a dream shot, just like you imagine it in the driveway when you're a kid," McNulty said.

His Pride will go on to face the hosts on Saturday night, as Swarthmore got out to a blazing fast start and a 22-5 lead at home against Plattsburgh State, whose best player, Jonathan Patron, ended up on the bench with two fouls just four minutes into the game. Swarthmore’s size and domination of the boards, combined with a quick pace and multiple scoring options were just too much for the Cardinals to handle, as Plattsburgh fell to the Garnet 93-63. Zack Yonda led all scorers with 19; Nate Shafer added 18 with 8 rebounds for Swarthmore (25-5). Eric Mack had 16 points to lead the Cardinals (24-5).

Charlie Noone was firing on all cylinders as UW-Oshkosh rolled to a 93-72 win vs. Emory in the round of 16 at Augustana. Noone made nine of his first 12 shots and finished with a game-high 32 points, including 8-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc. The Titans (23-7) dominated Emory on the glass and shot 50 percent from the floor en route to the win, leading the final 28 minutes of the game. UW-Oshkosh finished the first half on a 10-2 run to break the game open and led by double digits the rest of the way. Emory (23-5) was led by Whitt Rapp, who had 15 points and 11 assists.

Nolan Ebel scored a game-high 24 points to lead five scorers in double figures as Augustana got past John Carroll 86-78. The Vikings (25-5) led by eight in the first half before the Blue Streaks roared back with a 17-2 run. John Carroll (25-6) took a 39-38 lead into the locker room at halftime. The lead changed hands nine times in the second half before Augustana took the lead for good on a layup by Chrishawn Orange with 7:45 left and the Vikings held JCU at arms-length the rest of the way. John Ciriillo led JCU with 16 points on 7-for-19 shooting as the Blue Streaks were just 28-for-85 from the floor.

MIT made 6-of-6 from the free-throw line in the final 11 seconds and it was just enough as the Engineers held on against two Middlebury shots in the closing seconds to win 79-76 at Ramapo. Bradley Jomard made his return for MIT (25-5) and played 27 minutes, but scored just three points. It was Tim Roberts, who picked up a game-high 17 rebounds and added 13 points, while Hamilton Forsythe took game-high honors with 23 points. AJ Jurko, the NEWMAC defensive player of the year, had three steals and seven assists to go with 18 points. Jack Daly led Middlebury (21-7) with 21 points and 13 boards.

Matthew Tate hit a 3-pointer with 1:54 left to pull within two points, but Ramapo outscored Franklin & Marshall 10-2 the rest of the way to win 72-62 and advance to the round of eight. The Diplomats were 1-for-6 the rest of the way, while the Roadrunners scored the rest of their points from the foul line in improving to 24-6. Christopher Moseley scored a team-high 18 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line.