|Photos by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com|
The second day of the 2015 D3hoops.com Classic featured women's national title contender, a west coast team looking for a challenge and a Classic regular in the midst of a retooling project.
The DeSales women, making their return to the Classic, defeated Millsaps in the opener. George Fox's women pulled away from Carthage. Pacific Lutheran edged Mary Hardin-Baylor 77-74 and Ramapo ran away from Skidmore 90-76.
DeSales pulled away with a 16-0 run that straddled halftime, turning a four-point deficit into a 12-point lead and the Bulldogs went on to defeat the Majors 58-43. Morgan Birmelin led DeSales (5-4) with 19 points on 8-for-15 shooting, while Morgan McCollian added nine points and nine rebounds. Millsaps (5-5) was led by 14 from Braxton Thomas. DeSales last played in the D3hoops.com Classic in 2012.
The centerpiece women's game of Day 2 saw No. 3 George Fox put Carthage away in the fourth quarter en route to a 72-57 win in a game that was a rematch of a 2010 Sweet 16 contest. The Bruins (10-0) jumped out to an 18-11 lead in the first quarter as they held Carthage to 3-for-21 shooting from the field. The Lady Reds (4-6) tied the game at 32-32 and 37-37 in the third quarter, but George Fox answered quickly both times to regain the lead. Carthage again got as close as 54-53 early in the fourth but George Fox finished on an 18-4 run. Justine Benner led the Bruins with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Morgan Harris had 26 and 17 for Carthage.
In men's action, UMHB pulled to within two points in the final minute, but Pacific Lutheran's free-throw shooting down the stretch made the difference as the Lutes posted a 77-74 victory. Pacific Lutheran (8-2) led by as many as 11 in the second half and still led by seven, 71-64, with 4:26 left in the game, but the Cru (3-6) rallied to cut the lead to 72-70 with under 90 seconds remaining. UMHB got a putback from Russell Green to cut the lead to 77-74 again with one second left but PLU was able to inbound the ball and run out the clock.
The final game of the night saw a tournament regular, Ramapo, which returned to the D3hoops.com Classic for the fifth time. The Roadrunners entered the tournament with a new-look roster after the semester break and it was a successful one as Ramapo ran away from Skidmore to win 90-76. Thomas Bonacum scored a game-high 23 points for Ramapo (7-4) and David Haye came off the bench to add 16. Skidmore (5-2) lost D3hoops.com preseason All-American Aldan Medunjanin after 15 minutes when he reaggravated an earlier groin injury, and Edvinas Rupkus fouled out in the first few minutes of the second half after he picked up his third, fourth and fifth fouls in quick succession. Erik Sanders led the Thoroughbreds with 21 points.