CNU, York open in style

Tra Benefield played all 40 minutes in CNU's opening night win.
Christopher Newport Athletics photo

Tra Benefield and Nik Biberaj sparked Christopher Newport to a 77-70 home victory over No. 24 Randolph-Macon on opening night of the 2012-2013 Division III basketball season.  

The Captains built a 44-37 halftime lead and kept the advantage for most of the second half until Randolph-Macon pulled even at 61 with 6:13 to play. Nik Biberaj answered with a three-point play to restore Christopher Newport’s lead and added another to put the Captains up six a few minutes later. Biberaj finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Benefield added 25 points and 10 boards in a full 40 minutes. Lamar Giggetts had a double-double for the Yellow Jackets who shot just 14 percent from three (4-for-28). Full recap

Randolph-Macon starts the season with three games against NCAA playoff teams from a year ago. Next up for the Yellow Jackets is Transylvania and then St. Mary's (Md.) at the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic.

No. 1 MIT cruised to an opening night victory over Lesley 82-49. The Engineers shot 52.6 percent from the field and led 42-19 at the break. No. 15 UW-Stevens Point built a big lead at Lawrence and held off the Vikings, 72-64. No. 11 St. Thomas opened the season in impressive fashion by overpowering Whitman 104-81. The Tommies shot 65.1 percent from the field with 13 players scoring.

Wheaton (Ill.) dominated Capital 80-45 in a meeting of 2012 NCAA tournament teams. Michael Kvam dropped 23 points for the Thunder on 7-for-11 shooting from three. The Crusaders' starters only scored 16 points in a rough opener.

La Roche nipped Division II Clarion 56-55 on a Lionel Perkins' three-pointer with 5.8 seconds left. The Redhawks trailed by 14 at the half. Little East preseason favorite Keene State defeated NAC preseason favorite Husson 90-78. Rivier worked late into the night to beat Daniel Webster 68-62 in the first final of the season. The teams tipped off their game at 12:01 am on Thursday.

Women's recap

Open shots were hard to find in York's win over Johns Hopkins.
York (Pa.) athletics photo

No. 18 York (Pa.) stymied Johns Hopkins 55-44 as the Spartans' match-up zone defense forced 25 turnovers. After a slow start, York built a 50-29 lead that would not be challenged. The Spartans return four starters from last season's Sweet 16 squad and got a team-high 16 points from Jess Selby who filled the remaining spot in the starting line-up. Full recap

No. 8 UW-Whitewater rallied to beat Carroll 70-60 on the road. The Warhawks held the Pioneers to two points in the game's final nine minutes. Cortland State topped Elmira 67-64 behind 17 points from Grace Williamson who transferred to the Red Dragons from Alfred.

UMAC favorite Minnesota-Morris held off visiting Concordia-Moorhead 59-56. Elizabethtown played its first game in 43 years without Yvonne Kauffman as its head coach. The Blue Jays defeated Susquehanna 69-68 in the coaching debut of former player Sherri Gorman.

After being selected national rookie of the year in March, Meghan Nowak picked up where she left off for Eastern. The sophomore forward scored a career high 35 points and the Eagles edged Rosemont 77-75.