Men's wrap: Staking a claim to No. 1

More news about: Augustana | Benedictine | John Carroll

Augustana beat a ranked team on Wednesday night, while John Carroll and Benedictine each won in impressive fashion.
Augustana, John Carroll, Benedictine athletics photos

No. 2 Augustana won at No. 13 North Central, while No. 3 Benedictine and No. 4 John Carroll each won big on Wednesday night as all three teams will be jockeying for a big portion of the 18 No. 1 votes that Whitworth held coming into the week.

Augstana saw a 12-point second-half lead cut to just one with 5:17 left but held on to beat the Cardinals 76-68, while Benedictine rolled over Aurora, its nearest competitor in the NACC, 93-70, and John Carroll crushed hapless Otterbein 95-48.

Hunter Hill went 4-for-5 from 3-point range in the second half and Ben Ryan went 5-for-7 from the floor en route to 12 second-half points himself as the pair combined for 46 of the 76 points for the Vikings (20-1, 9-1 CCIW). Augustana's defense kept North Central (15-6, 8-2) to just 5-for-28 shooting from 3-point range -- at home. Five of the Cardinals' six losses have come to teams currently in the Top 25. 

The sixth loss came to Aurora, which has proven to be a very distant second to Benedictine in the NACC. The Eagles cruised past the rival Spartans 90-62 back in December and performed similarly on Wednesday night, rolling over Aurora (16-4, 12-3 NACC) by a 93-70 margin. Luke Johnson had a team-high 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the Eagles (21-0, 16-0), while Michael Blaszczyk added 16 and Tahron Harvey 15.

Finally, John Carroll remained undefeated in a cakewalk, as 18 players played and 15 of them scored in the win vs. Otterbein (4-16, 2-11 OAC). David Linane had a game-high 16 for JCU (20-0, 13-0).

Tim Daly made two free throws in the final second of regulation for Christopher Newport to send the game into overtime and the No. 6 Captains scored their final four points in overtime from the line as well as CNU (19-1, 13-0 CAC) survived 61-59 at Salisbury. The Sea Gulls (15-5, 8-5) led by as many as seven in the second half, at 42-35, before Daly and Marcus Carter combined for 14 points over the rest of regulation.

No. 14 St. Norbert trailed by 15 points early in the second half but found enough in reserve to marshal a 62-59 win at Lawrence in Midwest Conference action. The win, along with Carroll's 75-65 loss to Ripon, gives the Green Knights (17-2, 14-0) a three-game lead in the standings, plus a head-to-head sweep of Carroll, with four games remaining. 

Sean Duffy nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:23 remaining to put Emerson ahead for good as the Lions went into Harrington Auditorium and upset No. 19 WPI 56-53. The Lions (8-12, 3-6 NEWMAC) scored the first nine points of the second half to erase WPI's halftime advantage. It's the Engineers' second consecutive loss.

No. 17 Johnson & Wales improved to 19-1 and Quarry Greenaway reached his 2,000th career point in the process in a 101-68 win at Lasell, handing the Lasers (15-4, 12-1) their first loss in GNAC play. Greenaway poured in 32 points on 11-for-19 shooting while Tom Garrick added 29.

Neumann snapped Gwynedd Mercy's nine-game winning streak and handed the Griffins their first CSAC defeat in an 88-77 contest. DeShawn Loman led the Knights (14-6, 10-3 CSAC) with 21 points as he was one of five players in double figures. Denzel Yard registered 13 points and 10 assists. His 3-pointer with just under five minutes to go, stymied a Griffin rally.

One struggling recent WIAC national champion defeated the other as Trinson White scored 21 of his game-high 23 points after the break in UW-Whitewater's 72-51 win at UW-Stevens Point. They're both three games behind conference leader UW-La Crosse, which had no problem with last-place UW-Stout, and they're currently tied with Platteville for the last two conference tournament slots.

John Caldwell hit two free throws with 1:04 left in regulation to give Roanoke a 64-62 win at Guilford. The Maroons (16-4, 8-3 ODAC) overcame a 15-point second half deficit to remain a perfect 6-0 on the road this season. Elsewhere in the ODAC, Bridgewater overcame a 19-point deficit to win at Randolph-Macon while Virginia Wesleyan won a defensive battle vs. Randolph.