Second round: It's not how you start

Hannah Holt and Mary Hardin-Baylor got past Texas-Dallas as the Crusaders advanced through the second round on Saturday night.
Photo by Joe Fusco,

Fourth quarter rallies saved the day for Bowdoin and Tufts while Thomas More tore past Trine in the second half. Elsewhere, Mary Hardin-Baylor won its Texas three-match and Wartburg dominated Hope. Then, on Sunday, it was announced that Thomas More, Scranton, St. Thomas and Bowdoin would host this upcoming weekend's sectional round.

After a sluggish deficit, No. 1 Thomas More turned an 11-point halftime deficit into a 67-59 victory over No. 5 Trine. Trine held Thomas More to 20 points and All-American Madison Temple to two field goals in the first half, as the Thunder surged out to a 31-20 lead. The Saints errupted for 28 points in the third quarter as Temple, Shelby Rupp and Emily Schultz made all nine of their field goal attempts. Temple added 12 more points in the fourth quarter, giving her 27 overall, and Rupp finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds. Trine All-American Brandi Dawson finished with 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting.

Thomas More will play in-state rival Transylvania which took care of business against Oglethorpe. The Pioneers hit 12 three-pointers and rolled past the Stormy Petrels, 76-56, as Celina Kline scored 25 points including 6 threes.

No. 3 Bowdoin opened the fourth quarter on a 16-3 run and rallied past Smith, 87-78, as Taylor Choate scored 15 points on 5-for-5 shooting in the final period. Choate finished with 38 points in 37 minutes for the Polar Bears while Kennedy Guest-Pritch tallied 26 for Smith. Bowdoin will face No. 25 SUNY New Paltz next Friday after the Hawks blasted Emmanuel, 80-49. Lindsay Bettke and Marion Dietz combined for 49 points for the Hawks. 

No. 4 Tufts and Haverford only scored three field goals apiece in the fourth quarter, but the Jumbos had one three and eight free throws, which added up to a 52-46 come-from-behind win for Tufts. The Jumbos outrebounded the Fords 45-29 and outscored Haverford 12-3 on second-chance points. The Jumbos will play No. 7 Messiah in a rematch of last year's sectional semifinal game. Maci Thornton had two clutch three-point plays in the fourth quarter and 22 points overall in Messiah's 64-51 win over Baldwin Wallace.

No. 12 Mary Hardin-Baylor sprinted out to a big lead and then held off ASC rival No. 16 Texas-Dallas, 66-57. The Crusaders led 16-4 after one period but the Comets battled back within three with 69 seconds left. The teams exchanged scores and then Mary Hardin-Baylor's Alecia Blackwell got to the free throw line on three straight positions and made all six shots to ice the game. Blackwell finished with 21 points. Victoria Pena scored 25 points on 4-for-18 shooting from the field but 14-for-16 from the foul line. Mary Hardin-Baylor's victory means the visitor won all three matchups between those teams this season.

Mary Hardin-Baylor will face No. 22 Washington U. which topped No. 8 George Fox 86-78. The Bears shot 56 percent and advanced to the sectionals for the 19th time in program history. No. 9 Scranton will make its 22nd trip to the sectionals because the Royals defeated Johns Hopkins 59-46. Bridgette Mann scored 29 points for Scranton, which faces Christopher Newport next. The Captains converted 21 Mount St. Mary turnovers into 24 points and cruised to a 79-52 victory.

The NESCAC's other two teams split their second round games. No. 6 Amherst got big games from All-American guards Hannah Fox (18 points, nine rebounds) and Madeline Eck (18 points, 11 rebounds) and the Mammoths stepped past SUNY Geneseo, 58-46. Middlebury was held to one point in the final 7-plus minutes and No. 15 DeSales advanced past the Panthers, 70-55. Morgan Birmelin racked up 19 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 40 minutes for the Bulldogs.

Amherst will likely head west to play No. 2 St. Thomas since Tommies took care of Wisconsin Lutheran 67-51 with Hannah Spaulding leading the team in points (21), rebounds (13) and assists (six).

The most surprising result of the night came from Iowa where No. 11 Wartburg crushed No. 10 Hope, 79-49. The Knights shot 55 percent from the field, 53 percent from three and 88 percent from the foul line. Amanda Brainerd led five Wartburg players in double figures with 15 points.

Ithaca built a 50-29 halftime lead on No. 14 St. Joseph's (Maine) and that proved insurmountable as the Bombers finished off the Monks, 74-63. Annie Giannone tallied 22 points, nine assists and five rebounds for Ithaca, which faces DeSales next.