|Jauch Green's big shots in the final minute of Tuesday night's game against Amherst gave the Owls one of their biggest wins in program history.
Westfield State athletics file photo
In a week normally dominated by turkeys, some Owls and two groups of Eagles made headlines with upset victories.
Westfield State head coach Rich Sutter picked up his 300th career win in memorable fashion as the Owls stunned No. 3 Amherst, 68-67. The Owls (4-3) took a 66-62 on Jauch Green's three-pointer with 45 seconds left. Amherst (3-1) responded with two free throws by Grant Robinson and a Fru Che three-pointer that put the Mammoths in front 67-66. Green struck again with 3.7 seconds left, this time hanging for a contested layup that put the Owls back in front, 67-66. Amherst missed a three at the buzzer and the Owls claimed the victory.
Vawn Lord led Westfield State with 23 points and nine rebounds, and Green added 17 points and five rebounds. Sutter is 300-256 in 22 seasons at Westfield State.
Benedictine held No. 9 North Central (Ill.) to 28 percent shooting as the Eagles winged the Cardinals, 56-49. Eric Grygo and Mike Boatright notched 16 points and six rebounds apiece for Benedictine (5-1). The Eagles of UW-La Crosse also grabbed an upset win, beating No. 20 Augsburg, 79-71. Ethan Anderson was one of four La Crosse starters to score double figures and the Eagles improved to 5-0.
The rest of the Top 25 entered the holidays unscathed, including the top two teams in the country. No. 1 Swarthmore opened Centennial Conference play with a 68-56 win at home over Washington College. Nate Shafer scored 12 of his game-high 14 points in the second half for the Garnet. No. 2 Emory got 24 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including six 3-pointers, from Matt Davet and the Eagles held off Covenant, 67-62.
A handful of other Top 25 teams also scored wins in their conference openers. No. 4 Wittenberg rallied in the second half past Oberlin, 66-56. No. 7 St. Thomas had a 41-13 advantage in bench scoring in the Tommies' 74-60 win over Carleton. In the OAC Lukas Isaly's big game paced No. 10 Marietta to an 86-76 win at Baldwin Wallace.
Jorden Davis' free throws with 13 seconds left were the difference as No. 20 Guilford fended off Methodist, 62-60. Kyler Gregory posted 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Quakers (6-1).
Outside the Top 25, Hood stayed unbeaten in dramatic fashion as the Blazers rallied at home past Delaware Valley, 92-90. Hood (7-0) trailed for the entire game until Michael Riley rolled the game-winning layup home with eight seconds left. Mason Wang led Hood with 28 points.
Akbar Hoffman scored 41 points, including the game-winning shot at the buzzer, as Montclair State edged William Paterson, 106-105 in overtime. The Red Hawks (3-2, 1-0 NJAC) made a program high 18 three-pointers in the win.
Women's recap: Bulldogs still top dogs in region
On the women's side, the Top 25 teams in action went 14-0 with comfortable margins of victory in most games. The closest game of the night was played in the Lehigh Valley where No. 9 DeSales held off regional rival Moravian, 74-69. Molly Jansco's jumper gave DeSales (5-0) a 69-65 lead with 47 seconds left, and the Greyhounds (4-2) immediately answered with a Maddie Capuano jumper. Maria Newsome knocked down two free throws to extend the Bulldogs lead back to four and then Averi Jordan added two more to put the game out of reach.
Jordan finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds for DeSales whose next game is a Tuesday night home game against No. 3 Scranton. The Lady Royals tuned up for that showdown by crushing Marywood, 78-35.
Outside the Top 25, UW-Whitewater set a new program-record with 111 points in a 50-point rout of Elmhurst. The Warhawks (5-1) shot 55 percent from the floor, hit 11 three-pointers and scored 58 points in the paint.
In a battle of teams receiving Top 25 votes, Austin edged Texas-Dallas, 58-57. After Raenette Hughes pulled the Comets (1-3) even at 55 with 53 seconds left, Natalie McCoy scored a three-point play for Austin (3-0). Hughes' layup cut the Kangaroos lead to one with 35 seconds left but Texas-Dallas could not score again. Kacie West scored 13 points for Austin.