Strong from the start

Jeff McLane and the William Paterson front court dominated Mount Union in their season opener.
William Paterson athletics file photo

William Paterson started quickly and finished strong against No. 7 Mount Union while the Benedictine and North Park men started their seasons by upsetting Top 25 opponents.

William Paterson started its matchup against Mount Union on a 24-7 run, capped by Zach Frick three and a Bright Mensah dunk. The Pioneers opened the second half on a similar run, built a 30-point advantage and cruised to a 100-78 win. William Paterson outscored the Purple Raiders 42-22 in the paint and 27-4 on the fast break. William Paterson forwards James McLane and Terik Bridgeman combined for 43 points and 12 rebounds. Full recap

Cabrini started life without multi-time All-American Aaron Walton-Moss on the right foot. The Cavaliers withstood a late surge at No. 21 Dickinson and dumped the Red Devils, 87-82. Tyheim Monroe's layup with 58 seconds left gave the Cavaliers the lead for good and Cabrini converted five of eight free throws to seal the victory. Monroe posted a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Full recap

For the second year in a row, Benedictine opened its season with an upset win over Illinois Wesleyan. Luke Johnson scored a put-back at the buzzer to lift the Eagles to an 88-86 victory at No. 24 Illinois Wesleyan. North Park knocked off No. 17 Chicago 72-66.

No. 9 UW-Stevens Point started its national title defense with a 69-61 win over former conference mate UW-Superior. The Pointers defeated the Yellowjackets, who will play in the UMAC this year, as Stephen Pelkofer notched 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Defending UMAC champion Northwestern (Minn.) scored the final five points of the game and rallied past Gustavus Adolphus, 75-73.

On the women's side, two of the most exciting games involved four teams from last year's NCAA tournament.

No. 18 St. Thomas held on to beat St. Norbert 62-60, despite not scoring a field goal in the game's final three minutes. The Tommies graduated four starters off last year's 30-1 squad. Lone returning starter Katie Stone scored 21 points in the victory.

Salisbury, which graduated much of its offense from its CAC title team, pushed past Virginia Wesleyan 61-57. The Seagulls outscored the Marlins 18-8 in the fourth quarter. Julia McLaughlin scored 22 points and grabbed 19 points for Salisbury. Box score

The other meeting between NCAA tournament teams from a year ago was not close. Babson's bench outscored Baruch's 58-4 and the Beavers rolled over the Bearcats, 104-60. One night after just falling short at No. 2 George Fox, Cal Lutheran beat Lewis and Clark, 79-65. Chelsea Jacoby paced the Regals with 23 points.

Trevor Woodruff started his career as Scranton's women's head coach with a 59-53 victory over TCNJ. Alexix Roman scored 22 points and the Royals held the Lions to 36 percent shooting (20-for-55).