Off and running

Nate Schimonitz was one of 17 Prairie Wolves to score and one of five to reach double-figures in Nebraska Wesleyan's win over Grinnell.
File photo by Dave Hilbert,

The 2018-19 season tipped off on Thursday with the defending national champions running wild against Grinnell, UW-Eau Claire stopping St. Olaf and the York women knocking off Messiah.

No. 1 Nebraska Wesleyan ran over, around and past Grinnell 143-90 in a battle of high octane offenses. The Prairie Wolves scored 79 points in the first half thanks to 71 percent shooting (35-for-49) including 8-for-12 from three. Ryan Garver tallied 22 points on 11-for-14 shooting with 11 assists while Nate Bahe scored 21 points on 10-for-10 shooting. Vinny Curta scored 23 points in 22 minutes for Grinnell.

No. 7 Springfield made 14 three-pointers and pulled away from Western New England late for a 95-84 victory. All-American Jake Ross had 35 points, 16 rebounds and six assists for the Pride. UW-Eau Claire led wire-to-wire in an 80-75 win over No. 23 St. Olaf. Cole Rabedeaux scored 21 points for the Blugolds who outrebounded the Oles 30-21. Box score

No. 15 Johns Hopkins and Moravian both shot 28 for 55 from the field but the Blue Jays made three more 3-pointers and held off the Greyhounds 81-75. Moravian pulled within two points with 1:33 to play but Conner Delaney answered with four of his game-high 32 points to preserve Hopkins' victory.

Goucher snapped a 26-game losing streak dating back to February 2017 by beating Valley Forge 77-63. Tom Glynn had a successful debut at Rhode Island College where the Anchormen sunk Fitchburvg State 87-64.

In women's action York (Pa.) built a seven-point lead at No. 11 Messiah and held off the Falcons 69-66. Messiah pulled within one on Trinity Sumrall's jumper with 1:52 left and had a chance to take the lead on its next possession. But the Falcons couldn't convert and the Spartans made enough free throws down the stretch to seal the victory. Kayla Ferris scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for York. Box score

The other two ranked teams won easily. No. 7 Chicago had four starters score double figures and held Lake Forest to 33 percent shooting for an 85-63 road win. No. 14 East Texas Baptist handled McMurry 86-52. Neumann defeated Wilkes 85-75 in a game between schools with new head coaches.