Tuesday: Bubble birds flock together

More news about: Rowan | Stockton | UW-Eau Claire | UW-Whitewater

Summer Crilley scored 18 points and led Rowan past Stockton in the NJAC tournament semifinals.
Rowan athletics file photo

After tightly contested regular season races, the NJAC, WIAC and CAC opened their conference tournaments on Tuesday night. Rowan pushed Stockton into the pool of teams hoping for an at-large bid while UW-Eau Claire pushed UW-Whitewater onto the tournament bubble.

Rowan avenged last month's lopsided loss to Stockton by defeating the Ospreys 70-59 in the NJAC semifinals. The Profs closed the third quarter with a 7-0 run that put them in front of Stockton by 10 entering the final period. Rowan converted 32 Stockton turnovers into 28 points. The NJAC title game will be a rubber match between the Profs and Montclair State, which fended off William Paterson 71-62. The Red Hawks split their regular sesaon series against Rowan with each winning on the other team's court.

UW-Eau Claire finished the regular season with a win at No. 24 UW-Whitewater and the Blugolds did it again in the first round of the WIAC tournament. Eau Claire held Whitewater’s starters to 10-for-32 shooting and ousted the Warhawks from the playoffs, 69-59. Whitewater (19-7) will have to wait behind at least two other WIAC teams for a chance at an at-large bid.

Katie Wagner hit a driving layup with 11 seconds left to push York (Pa.) past defending champion Salisbury in the first round of the CAC tournament. The game had 13 ties and 14 lead changes, and neither team led by more than five points. The Spartans (20-6) play at top seed Marymount in Thursday’s semifinal. No. 22 Mary Washington eased past St. Mary’s (Md.) 78-48 in the other CAC tournament game. Brianne Comden scored 28 points, including the 1,000th of her career, for the Eagles (21-4) who head to Christopher Newport on Thursday.

Wartburg’s up-and-down season came to a close on Tuesday night as the Knights lost at home to Coe 66-60 in the first round of the IIAC tournament. Wartburg entered the Top 25 after beating UW-Oshkosh and Wheaton (Ill.) in its holiday tournament, then fell out of the rankings by losing five of six games at the end of January and then appeared to right themselves by winning six straight entering tonight’s game. 

On the men's side, the CUNYAC changed its tournament format and its top two seeds received double byes to the semifinals, but it didn’t help either one. Doyan Isaac scored 24 points to lead fifth seed Baruch past top seed Lehman 80-64 while Brooklyn ousted second seeded Staten Island 78-69. The Bearcats and Bulldogs will meet on Saturday in a rematch f last year’s CUNYAC title game.

The top four seeds advanced through the first rounds of the OAC and NCAC tournaments. Cam Kuhn scored 37 points for Baldwin Wallace in its 86-83 win over Ohio Northern. Brandon Domenick hit two free throws with five seconds left to lift seventh seed Westminster (Pa.) past second seed Grove City in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference tournament.

The top three seeds advanced in the GNAC tournament, including No. 14 Johnson and Wales hammering St. Joseph’s (Maine) 73-36. The Wildcats picked up their 24th victory, setting a new program record. Rhode Island College won for just the sixth time this season and knocked off second seed Southern Maine in the Little East quarterfinals, 64-63. 

Mary Washington and Wesley battled to a standstill with 1:36 left in overtime of their CAC tournament game. John Lutkenhaus scored a layup for Mary Washington to break the tie and then blocked a shot on Wesley’s next possession to set up another Eagles’ basket, and they went on to win 90-88. TJ Jones scored 26 points in a full 45 minutes for Mary Washington (14-11) which heads to Salisbury for the CAC semifinals.