Ramapo tops Salisbury in unbeaten battle

Ramapo and Cory Soanes blocked Salisbury's attempt to get through the D3hoops.com Classic unscathed.
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

Ramapo edged No. 5 Salisbury and UC Santa Cruz slugged Wheaton (Ill.) on the first day of the seventh annual D3hoops.com Classic.

In a battle of east coast unbeaten teams, Ramapo held off Salisbury 66-65. The Roadrunners (10-0) took a double-digit lead midway through the second half on an emphatic one-hand follow dunk by Corey Soanes. Salisbury (8-1) responded with an 8-0 run capped by Braedon Dorsey's three-pointer. Dorsey drilled another three with 2:55 left to give the Sea Gulls a 60-59 lead. After the teams traded baskets, Ramapo took the lead for good on a Josh Ford three pointer.

Both teams missed several opportunities down the stretch. Ramapo missed the front end of three one-and-one chances from the freethrow line in the final minute and Salisbury missed a chance to take the lead from the freethrow line with seven seconds left. After Ramapo missed a free throw with five seconds left, Salisbury got one more chance to win the game but Chad Barcikowski's three at the buzzer rimmed out. Box score

Thomas Bonacum paced Ramapo's balanced attack with 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Barcikowski finished with 19 points and nine rebounds for the Sea Gulls.

The other two men's results were lopsided. Playing its first game in over two weeks, No. 11 UW-Eau Claire showed no rust in dominating Gustavus Adolphus 78-57. The Blugolds shot 64 percent from the field with Josh Weix (25 points on 10-for-13 shooting) leading the way. George Diekelman added 16 points for Eau Claire (9-1) while Riley Sharbono scored 13 points for the Gusties (2-6). Box score

In the night cap UC Santa Cruz overwhelmed Wheaton (Ill.) 80-70 in a game that was not as close as the final score indicated. The Banana Slugs led 76-53 with four minutes left when they pulled their starters. Five Santa Cruz players scored double figures, led by Kyle Creighton (19 points). Corey Cilia added 14 points with a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Aston Francis scored 21 for the Thunder. Box score

Ayisat Afolabi's athleticism created all kinds of advantages for Lewis and Clark.
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

On the women's side, the NWC teams went 2-0 against IIAC opponents with No. 23 Puget Sound and Lewis and Clark registering victories.

In the event opener, Lewis and Clark used a quick start on offense and a strong finish on defense to defeat Simpson, 60-54. The Pioneers (8-2) handled the Storm's press with ease in the first quarter and jumped out to an 18-6 lead. But Simpson (3-7) settled down and got back into the game by getting to the free throw line. Simpson shot 10-for-14 from the line in the first half. 

In the fourth quarter Lewis and Clark held Simpson to 3-for-15 shooting including a big shot block by Pioneers wing Ayisat Afolabi to maintain a five point lead midway through the period. Katie Ahrenholtz pulled Simpson within three with 3:48 to play but the Pioneers shut out the Storm the rest of the way. Box score

Afolabi finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds and four steals for Lewis and Clark while Noreen Morrow scored 18 points for Simpson. 

No. 23 Puget Sound also jumped out to a big lead and cruised to a 76-47 win over Coe. The Loggers built a 40-23 halftime advantage and ended up getting 16 players into the game in the win. Samone Jackson sparked the Loggers (9-1) during a lull in the third quarter by hiting back-to-back three-pointers and finished with 18 points, while Elizabeth Prewitt poured in 23 for Puget Sound on 11-for-17 shooting. The Loggers got 57 of their 76 points from freshmen and sophomores. UPS guard Caitlin Malvar tied the D3hoops.com Classic record for assists in a game with seven.

Coe (5-6) was led by 15 points from Aleena Hobbs and 13 from Jenna Lehman.

Stevens emerged the victor in the final women's game on Wednesday, as the Ducks survived a grind-it-out game vs. UW-Eau Claire 51-43. The teams combined for just 11 points and shot 5-for-27 combined in the second quarter before they found a little offense in the second half. The Ducks (1-5) picked up their first win of the season in part due to a 9-2 run early in the fourth quarter in which they pulled out to a 17-point lead, but the Blugolds (5-5) battled back into it, cutting the lead to four in the final minute. 

Kaitlyn Astel led the way for the Ducks with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 8-for-16 from the floor. Anna Toke went 6-for-12 en route to 13 points and 10 boards. The rest of the Stevens team combined to go 6-for-30 from the floor.

UW-Eau Claire shot just 5-for-27 in the first half and 17-for-52 for the game. Kayla Hanley scored a team-high 16 for the Blugolds, while Anna Graaskamp added 15 points on 7-for-15 shooting.