|Kyle DeVerna's career-high 23 points pushed Scranton past former conference rival Wilkes at the Cross County Challenge.
University of Scranton athletics file photo
No. 25 Scranton improved to 10-0 by defeating local rival Wilkes and No. 16 Nichols did the same with a win over Eastern Connecticut. Elsewhere Hamilton and UW-Whitewater rang out 2018 with their 11th wins of the season.
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Scranton topped Wilkes 74-64 in the first game of the Cross County Challenge, giving the Royals their best start since the 1991-92 season. After both teams struggled to score over the opening seven minutes, Scranton took the lead for good with a 15-2 run. The Royals (10-0) shot 46.7 percent from the field (28-for-60) and outscored Wilkes (8-2) by 12 in the paint. Scranton hosts its other local rival King's in the second day of that two-day event on Sunday. Recap
All-American Marcos Echevarria scored 14 of his 30 points in the final five minutes as No. 16 Nichols held off Eastern Connecticut, 79-73. Echevarria shot 10-for-19 from the field, including 7-for-13 from three, for the Bison (10-0). That victory earns Nichols a Sunday showdown with No. 22 Salisbury which rolled past tournament host Springfield, 82-63. Salisbury (10-1) got 50 points from its reserves, led by 22 points in 29 minutes from Mike Ward.
No. 5 Hamilton broke 90 points for the fifth straight game and eighth time this season in a 92-77 win over Ithaca in Daytona Beach. Twelve players scored for the Continentals (11-0) who gave extended minutes to their reserves. No. 10 UW-Whitewater capped a successful trip to Texas with a 96-81 win over Concordia (Texas). The Warhawks (11-0) open WIAC play on Wednesday at archrival UW-Stevens Point. The Pointers finished non-conference play with a 76-70 victory over Illinois Wesleyan as Nate Dodge poured in 31 points for Stevens Point (8-2).
It was an unusually upset free day for the Top 25 teams. Sixteen of the 17 teams that played won and No. 4 Whitman tips off with Cal Lutheran at 11:00 ET. Other noteworthy wins include No. 3 Augustana handling Washington U. 77-63 for Grey Giovanine's 400th win with the Vikings and No. 9 Whitworth edging Johns Hopkins 76-74 on at a last-second Jordan Lester layup at the D3hoops.com Classic.
Curry snapped one of the longest losing streaks in Division III basketball by beating Clark 76-69. The Colonels (1-10) had lost 33 straight dating back to the second game of the 2017-18 season. Clarks Summitt has the longest active losing straight with 35 losses.
The number of unbeaten teams shrunk when Emory knocked off Oswego State 91-73. The Eagles (8-2) outscored the Lakers 40-18 in the paint and 24-0 on fast break points. Matt Davet came off Emory's bench to score 20 points in 22 minutes. WPI also dropped its first game of the season down south, as Maryville defeated the Engineers 67-60 in Tampa. Dante Hoppa scored 16 points for the Scots who have won four straight after starting 1-4.
Tom Spanbauer picked up his 400th career victory as Cortland cruised past winless Keyston 107-79. The Red Dragons (7-2) scored the first 17 points of the game. In a different part of New York SUNY-Old Westbury defeated Lehman 75-59, earning Bernard Tomlin his 400th victory.