Wednesday women: Alone at the top

Malia Smith's big night gave No. 20 UW-Whitewater a win at home over No. 10 UW-Oshkosh and the Warhawks a leg up in the WIAC race.
UW-Whitewater athletics photo

Christopher Newport, Hope, Montclair State and UW-Whitewater each grabbed sole possession of first place in their conferences by winning games against teams that entered the night tied for first. 

In the night's marquee matchup, No. 6 Christopher Newport defeated No. 9 Mary Washington 75-67 to take a one-game lead on the Eagles in the CAC standings. The Captains (16-0, 9-0 CAC) jumped out to a 14-2 lead at home and held a double-digit lead for much of the game. Mary Washington (15-1, 8-1) pulled within five points early in the fourth quarter but couldn't get within one possession as the Captains went 7-for-11 from the free throw line in the final period to seal the victory. The teams combined to shoot 57 free throws. Recap

Makenzie Fancher led Christopher Newport with 20 points and five assists while Devon Byrd and Sam Porter grabbed 10 rebounds apiece for the Captains. Kendall Parker and Jordan Pamlanye each scored 16 points off the bench for Mary Washington, who will host Christopher Newport in the rematch on February 1.

No. 7 Hope used a 12-0 fourth quarter run to break open its game at No. 24 Trine and went on to win, 76-65. After Trine (14-2, 7-1 MIAA) scored a layup to cut the Flying Dutch's lead to two at the start of the fourth quarter, Tyra Smith answered with a three for Hope to key the game-deciding run. Hope (16-1, 8-0) had four starters score double-figures, led by Smith with 14. Brandi Dawson scored 33 points for the Thunder who will get another crack at Hope in the season finale. Recap

No. 20 UW-Whitewater won a defensive struggle at home 55-50 over No. 10 UW-Oshkosh to grab first place in the WIAC. In a game where points were at a premium, only six Warhawks scored, but two of them combined for 37. Malia Smith led Whitewater with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists while Brooke Trewyn added 17 for the Warhawks (15-0, 5-0 WIAC). Eliza Campbell had 19 points for the Titans (14-2, 4-1 WIAC). Recap

A win by Kean and a loss by Montclair State on Saturday set up a battle between those two for first place in the NJAC. The Redhawks led wire-to-wire thanks to a big night from Katie Sire (27 points, 16 rebounds) and a solid night from the free throw line (22-for-28) en route to a 75-58 win. Montclair State (15-1, 8-1 NJAC) outscored the Cougars 44-24 in the paint. Marajiah Bacon scored 31 points for Kean (11-6, 7-2 NJAC) on 12-for-35 shooting in 38 minutes. With the win, Montclair State swept the season series with Kean and effectively has a two-game lead on the Cougars and Rowan in the NJAC standings.

No. 8 Wartburg got 32 points from the Sommer sisters but it wasn't enough to avoid a 66-61 loss at Luther, as the Norse outscored the Knights 26-12 in the fourth period. Luther converted 16 of its 18 free throw attempts while Wartburg only went 8 for 16. Anna Madrigal notched a double-double for Luther (10-5, 6-1 IIAC). Wartburg (15-2, 7-1 IIAC) will host Luther in the rematch on February 8. Box score

No. 3 Scranton took another step toward another undefeated regular season with a 76-55 win at Moravian. Sarah Payonk collected the third triple-double of her career with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. Catholic kept pace in the Landmark race with a 79-50 win over Goucher. The Cardinals travel to Scranton on Saturday.

Mikayla Miller flirted with a triple-double and No. 22 Gustavus Adolphus erased a small half-time deficit in an 83-76 win over St. Catherine. Miller finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. The Gusties remained tied for first with No. 4 St. Thomas which overpowered St. Mary's (Minn.) 77-57.

No. 25 Messiah narrowly avoided a two-game losing streak as the Falcons outlasted Lebanon Valley 85-79 in overtime. The Flying Dutchmen erased an 11-point fourth quarter lead before Messiah pulled away with 8-for-10 free throw shooting in overtime.

Outside the Top 25, there were points a plenty for Westfield State which used its run-and-gun system offense to beat Salem State 126-77. The Owls set a new program record for points and shots in a 40-minute game (110) while Norma Waggett set a new record for Salem State with 44 points. Recap

Augustana topped Illinois Wesleyan 83-73 to push the Titans one game back in the CCIW standings. The Vikings are tied for first with Wheaton (Ill.) which cruised to an 85-42 win at North Park. Haverford handled rival Swarthmore 67-44 to stay tied with Dickinson for first place in the Centennial Conference.