|Jamie Lang scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Puget Sounds' victory at No. 24 Whitman on Saturday evening.
File photo by Ronnie Glover, d3photography.com
Puget Sound showed that the Northwest Conference has a three-team race by winning at No. 24 Whitman after Gettysburg showed that the Centennial Conference's race is basically over. Elsewhere UW-Oshkosh and Babson won their battles for conference supremacy in Saturday's women's action.
Puget Sound used a 9-1 run in the fourth period to close out Whitman 75-67 to pull itself within a game of first place in the NWC. Puget Sound led 66-65 with 1:44 to play when Elizabeth Prewitt hit a three pointer and extended the Loggers' lead to four. Whitman turned the ball over on its next possession and then fouled Prewitt who sank both free throws. After another empty possession for the Blues, Jamie Lang was fouled and made both free throws, putting the game out of reach.
Prewitt and Lang combined to score 52 points of the Loggers' 75 points and grab 19 rebounds. Puget Sound (13-3, 6-2 NWC) sits a game back of Whitman (13-4, 7-1 NWC) and No. 15 George Fox in the conference standings. George Fox won easily at Willamette 75-49 as the Bruins' bench outscored Willamette's 39-2. Puget Sound hosts George Fox on Friday night.
No. 20 Gettysburg hasn't officially clinched the Centennial Conference's regular season title, but the Bullets made themselves the overwhelming favorite to do so by beating Johns Hopkins 56-49. Ashley Gehrin and Meredith Brown scored 16 points apiece for Gettysburg (14-2, 11-0 CC) which swept the regular season series with second place Johns Hopkins (13-3, 9-2 CC). The Bullets have a three-game lead on Ursinus whom the Bullets have beaten once and will play again on Feb. 5.
No. 12 UW-Oshkosh bounced back from Wednesday's loss to Whitewater with an impressive 60-48 win at No. 23 UW-La Crosse. The Titans held La Crosse to two field goals over the game's final 7-plus minutes and Oshkosh finished with a 51-39 rebounding advantage. Oshkosh's win coupled with Eau Claire's 81-76 loss to Stout leaves the Titans with a game lead over those three teams in the WIAC standings.
The rest of the Top 25 games went according to form without much drama.
No. 1 Bowdoin led wire-to-wire in a 72-59 win over Colby as Abby Kelly poured in 27 points for the Polar Bears (17-0, 4-0 NESCAC). Same went for No. 3 Scranton which beat Juniata 69-55 and No. 4 St. Thomas which took care of St. Mary's (Minn.) 68-41.
Augustana couldn't beat its second ranked CCIW foe in a row, as No. 14 Illinois Wesleyan downed the Vikings 81-65. Sydney Shanks scored a career-high 25 points for the Titans (15-3, 8-1 CCIW). North Park scored the first 18 points of its game against No. 24 Wheaton (Ill.) but the Vikings only scored 39 the rest of the way and the Thunder recovered for a 62-57 win. Hannah Frazier notched 28 points, 16 rebounds and four assists for Wheaton.
Outside the Top 25, Babson grabbed first place in the NEWMAC with a road win at Springfield, 74-64. The Beavers (14-2, 8-1 NEWMAC) built a 20-point halftime en route to their 12th consecutive win. Babson has won 23 of its last 24 conference road games.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps defeated Chapman 49-47 and extended its winning streak to 15 games. The Athenas (16-2, 8-1 SCIAC) appeared to be on their way to a comfortable win when Maya Love's two free throws increased the Claremont lead to 49-38 with 5-plus minutes remaining. But Claremont didn't score again and Chapman had a chance to tie the game until Love preserved the win with a last-second steal. Love finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Claremont battles arch rival Pomona-Pitzer for first place in the SCIAC on Thursday night.
Wisconsin Lutheran stayed ahead of the pack in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference by shutting down Lakeland, 71-45. Megan Will scored 10 points on 5-for-11 shooting for Lakeland but no one else made more than three field goals for the Muskies. All-American Jen Dowden scored 26 points for the Warriors (15-1, 11-1 NACC) which sits a half-game in front of Concordia (Wis.) and a full game up on Lakeland and Benedictine.
Marajiah Bacon became the all-time leading scorer in NJAC women's basketball history, tallying 31 points on 24 shots for New Jersey City, but that wasn't enough to stop Rowan from winning, 82-75. Bacon surpassed Michelle Jones who scored 2,048 points over four seasons at William Paterson. Ayanna Johnson led the Profs with 14 points and 19 rebounds and the Profs continue to lead the NJAC with a 9-2 record.
Hien Thach hit a three at the buzzer to lift Keene State to a surprise 68-65 win over Southern Maine. Thach's shot capped a 7-0 game-ending run for the Owls who won their first conference game of the season and just their third overall.