Ben Strong scored 10 points in the first quarter and We are D3 came out hot from 3-point range, but the team of NCAA Division III alumni could not hold on as Sons of Westwood finished the game on a 26-6 run to defeat We are D3 90-65 in the first round of The Basketball Tournament.
We are D3, composed of nine players, four of whom were D3hoops.com Player of the Year and one of whom predated the award, was the No. 13 seed in the West Regional, while Sons of Westwood, composed primarily of UCLA alumni, was a No. 4 seed. The nine players combined for 15 D3hoops.com All-America selections.
D3 led 51-49 with 4:41 left in the third quarter before Westwood began to come alive. SoW missed only seven shots in the entire second half in outscoring D3 52-21. Led by Isaac Hamilton, who scored 21 points, SoW was 11-for-16 in the third quarter (68.8 percent) and 11-for-13 in the fourth (84.6 percent).
We are D3 led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter and was up by six at the half on the strength of 6-for-12 3-point shooting, as well as a 25-18 rebounding advantage.
Strong, a Guilford alum and the 2007 D3hoops.com Player of the Year, finished with a team-high 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Joey Flannery, a three-time D3hoops.com All-America pick and the 2017 D3hoops.com Player of the Year for national champion Babson, added 17 points, shooting 6-for-12. Amherst alum Aaron Toomey, the 2014 D3hoops.com Player of the Year, had six points on two long 3-pointers in the first half but was quiet in the second half. He finished with a game-high five assists. Jeff Gibbs, who was a first-team All-America pick for Otterbein in 2002, before the D3hoops.com Player of the Year award was established, scored nine points and had five rebounds.
The starting five accounted for 53 of D3's 65 points.