Friday: Thunderstruck

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Jared Holmquist powered Trine to an 82-77 win at Hope in the MIAA semifinals on Friday night.
Trine athletics photo

The MIAA title game will feature two programs looking for their first trip to the NCAA tournament after Alma and Trine advanced through the conference's semifinals.

Trine upset No. 6 Hope 82-77 in the last of four MIAA semifinals played at DeVos Fieldhouse. Hope is hosting the men's and women's conference tournaments this weekend.

Jared Holmquist scored 33 points and shot 9-for-10 from the free throw line for the Thunder, which shot 61 percent as a team. No. 19 Alma was almost as hot in its semifinal game against Albion as the Scots shot 51 percent in a 77-64 win.

In the only championship game of Friday night, Brooklyn used a 22-2 second-half run to blow past Baruch in the CUNYAC title game, 76-67. Lorenzo Williams scored 25 points in 40 minutes for the Bulldogs who are headed to the NCAA tournament for the fourth time.

No. 1 Augustana survived a scare from Illinois Wesleyan in the CCIW semifinals as the Vikings fended off the Titans 83-74in overtime. Augustana led 63-56 with less than four minutes to play in regulation but then missed their final seven shots. The Titans pulled even with 1:30 left and had two chances to take the lead, but couldn't convert. Augustana scored the first five points in overtime to seize control for good.

In the other CCIW semifinal No. 17 Elmhurst pushed No. 11 North Central (Ill.) into the pool of teams waiting for at-large bids. After letting a double-digit lead slip away, Will Nixon scored a three-point play in the final minute to put the Bluejays ahead 60-58. The Cardinals missed two chances to tie or take the lead and that was the final score.

Oswego State busted someone's bubble by eliminating No. 21 Plattsburgh State from the SUNYAC tournament, 81-74. Brian Sortino scored 29 points, including 11 late in the second half, as the Lakers pulled away for the victory. Plattsburgh State missed getting at at-large bid to the tournament last year, but the Cardinals should be safe this time.

Brockport shot 60 percent from field but Cortland was even hotter, shooting 68 percent including 7-for-11 from three in the second half, as the Red Dragons edged the Golden Eagles 80-78. Cortland plays Oswego State for the title and automatic bid tomorrow.

Wooster is headed back to a familiar place but will see unfamiliar face when it arrives. The Scots topped Hiram 92-79 in the NCAC semifinal behind Josh Kipfer's double-double (17 points, 18 rebounds). Wooster will face Denison in the NCAC tournament final since the Big Red upset No. 10 Ohio Wesleyan 95-85. Jett Speelman scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Denison which has only made the NCAA tournament once, back in 1997.

UW-River Falls weathered an initial flurry at UW-La Crosse and then rallied past the WIAC's top seed for a 72-61 victory. The Eagles jumped out to a 21-6 lead, only to see the Falcons score 25 of the next 31 points and take the lead for good. River Falls will travel to UW-Oshkosh for the WIAC tournament final. The Titans eliminated UW-Eau Claire 77-67.

Milwaukee Engineering is still kicking in the NACC tournament, thanks to Austin Stueck and some timely scoring from his teammates. Stueck scored 42 points and shot 10-for-12 from three, and the sixth seeded Raiders knocked off second seeded Aurora 100-96. Connor Patterson’s three-point play broke a 94-all tie with 1:48 to play and Milwaukee Engineering hung on from there.

LaGrange rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit at North Carolina Wesleyan and eliminated the top seed from the USA South Athletic Conference tournament, 99-87. The Panthers shot 61 percent in the second half, led by Drew Vanderbrook who hit five 3-pointers and scored 19 points. LaGrange will try for its third straight conference title tomorrow against Covenant which looks for its first since joining Division III in 2011. The Scots defeated Greensboro 91-83 to earn its first championship appearance in any conference tournament final.

Women’s recap: Lehman tops Brooklyn in OT

Lehman captured its first conference title since 2007 on Friday night.
Lehman athletics photo 

The five starters for Lehman will sleep well tonight for a couple reasons. The Lightening defeated Brooklyn 73-67 in overtime in the CUNYAC final to earn the conference crown and automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Those starters played all but three minutes and collected every point and every rebound. Amely Del Rosario led the way with 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Montclair State defeated Rowan 68-62 in the NJAC championship game to win its fourth straight title, tying the Profs' record from 1996-1999. Katie Sire posted a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Katie Tobie had nine assists for the Red Hawks.

DePauw kept its chances to reach another NCAA tournament alive when the Tigers beat Kenyon 59-58 at the buzzer in the NCAC semifinal. Sidney Cera’s layup put Kenyon up by two with 10 seconds left, but Emily Budde nailed a three-pointer for DePauw. Maya Howard scored 22 points in 26 minutes for the Tigers who have made the NCAA tournament every year since 2003.

DePauw's chances to keep that streak alive got a little better when Allegheny upended No. 23 Denison 67-66 in overtime. Jessica Mrdjenovich hit a three at the buzzer in the extra period to power the Gators into the conference title game. Jordan Holmes notched 22 points, 28 rebounds and seven blocks for Denison which awaits its fate in the at-large pool. Allegheny, which entered the tournament with a 13-12 record, lost both regular season games against DePauw by double digits.

Trine stifled No. 19 Calvin and eliminated the Knights from the MIAA tournament, 57-45. The Thunder held Calvin to 20 percent shooting (11-for-56) and its lowest scoring total of the season. Trine will take an eight game winning streak – its longest since 1999 – into the title game against No. 6 Hope tomorrow.

After beating Western Connecticut on Wednesday night, Mass-Boston scored another upset in the Little East tournament semifinals. The Beacons rallied past Keene State 51-39, holding the Owls to 15 points in the second half. Sixth seed Mass-Boston will play host Eastern Connecticut for the title Saturday afternoon.