Friday: Down to the wire

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AJ Horde (right) tallied 21 points and six assists in Rochester Tech's win over St. Lawrence.
Rochester Tech athletics file photo

The Liberty League has eight teams chasing four playoff spots and Friday night's results didn't do much to separate them.

St. Lawrence entered the night alone in first place with a chance to stay above the fray. But the Saints (12-9, 8-5 LL) fell behind Rochester Tech by 18 at the half and eventually lost to the Tigers 92-75. AJ Horde scored 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting as Rochester Tech (11-11, 7-6 LL) shot 54 percent from the field as a team.

Skidmore took advantage of the opportunity to move into a tie for first place. The Thoroughbreds (13-8, 8-5 LL) beat RPI 73-66 and pushed the Engineers (10-12, 4-9 LL) all but out of the playoff picture.

Union also took advantage of St. Lawrence's loss. The Dutchmen (11-10, 8-5 LL) exploded for 47 second-half points and pulled away from Vassar, 74-48. The Brewers' loss puts them one game out of first at 11-11, 7-6 in the Liberty League.

Hobart still has playoff life, too. Colin Dougherty and Jamal Lucas scored 24 points a piece and the Statesmen topped Clarkson 72-67 in overtime. Hobart (10-12, 6-7 LL) is one game behind Vassar and Rochester Tech for the last playoff spot, as is Bard (9-14, 6-8) which was idle tonight. Clarkson (8-14, 5-8 LL) is two games back with three left.

The NESCAC's abbreviated race for home court advantage in the playoffs will come down to the final day, which is tomorrow. Trinity (Conn.) needed overtime and 29 points from Shay Ajayi to stave off Hamilton, 96-86. No. 19 Amherst beat Middlebury 83-70 and can still grab home court from the Bantams if they lose to the Panthers tomorrow. No. 25 Tufts assured itself a home playoff game by beating Williams 77-73 while No. 20 Wesleyan dropped out of position to get one with an 80-71 loss at Bowdoin.

New York University punished No. 24 Emory on the glass and pushed past the Eagles 73-56. The Violets outrebounded Emory 47-26 as Evan Kupferberg led the way with 26 points and 11 boards. NYU (18-3, 7-3 UAA) is one game behind Emory (15-6, 8-2 UAA) and Rochester in the conference standings. The Yellowjackets (15-6, 8-2 UAA) took care of Brandeis 71-54 and moved into a tie for first.

Women: George Fox secures home court

No. 2 George Fox defeated Whitworth 65-57 to guarantee it won't have to leave Miller Gymnasium during the NWC playoffs. The victory maintains the Bruins' three-game lead on Puget Sound with three to play and a regular season sweep of the Loggers already in hand. Justine Benner scored seven of her 12 points in the decisive fourth quarter for George Fox (22-0, 13-0 NWC).

No. 6 Tufts already grabbed home court throughout the NESCAC playoffs last week, and tonight the Jumbos defeated Williams 62-37 to complete their third consecutive perfect regular season in conference. Tufts led 47-23 at the end of three quarters.

Two of the three ranked teams in the UAA lost on Friday night. No. 9 Rochester tripped against Brandeis 69-65 as the Judges outrebounded the Yellowjackets 54-33. Emory made 21 of 25 free throws and the Eagles defeated No. 14 New York University 65-59. The Violets have dropped three straight and sit two games back of No. 10 Washington U, which beat Case Western Reserve 78-59.