VWC, Babson punch tickets in nail-biters

Beavers reserves Bradley Jacks and Travis Sheldon celebrate after Matthew Droney's 3-pointer gave the Beavers the lead for good in overtime. 
Photo by Pat Coleman, D3sports.com 

Virginia Wesleyan avoided overtime as a last-second shot attempt rimmed out, while Babson needed overtime to clinch its first-ever trip to the Division III men's basketball Final Four.

The Marlins defeated Randolph-Macon 49-47, after losing to the Yellow Jackets three times during the regular season. Virginia Wesleyan survived when Randolph-Macon's last-second shot rimmed out. Greg Montgomery led the Marlins with 14 points off the bench.

Babson rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final 2:45 of regulation, then dominated offensively and defensively in the overtime to win 76-69.

The Beavers finished the game on an 18-4 run. John Wickey led all scorers with 23 points, while Joey Flannery added 20 for the Beavers (29-2).

The last time Babson appeared in the national semifinals in any Division III team sport was 1991, when the men's soccer team advanced.

Augustana jumped out to a huge lead and absolutely steamrolled Marietta, 100-51. The Vikings will be one of two Central Region teams in the Final Four, as UW-Stevens Point completely locked down East Texas Baptist.

Virginia Wesleyan celebrates returning to the Division III Final Four for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
Randolph-Macon photo by Keith Lucas, Sideline Media

UW-Stevens Point locked down on No. 25 East Texas Baptist, limiting the Tigers to just 10 field goals and 28 points in winning 45-28. Although no record appears to exist for fewest points allowed in one half of a Division III NCAA Tournament game, the Pointers would have to be a contender after they led 23-8 at the break. Stephen Pelkofer led the way for UW-Stevens Point for a second consecutive night, as he scored a game-high 11.

Augustana qualified for its fifth Final Four, but just its first in the Salem era, as the Vikings rolled out to leads of 27-12 and 48-18 in front of a crowd of 1,997 at Augustana's Carver Center. Augustana's defense was suffocating against the nation's 10th-highest scoring offense (83.5 points per game). One night after holding high-scoring Mount Union to a season-low 69 points, the Vikings held Marietta 15 points below its previous low this season. The Pioneers shot just .286 from the floor — nearly 20 percentage points below their season average — and connected on just four of 23 (.174) 3-point attempts. 

Augustana and Babson will meet in the 5:30 p.m. semifinal game on Friday in Salem, while Virginia Wesleyan and UW-Stevens Point will follow at 8 p.m. D3hoops.com will have live video pregame and postgame coverage in Salem, while we will link to the game coverage on NCAA.com.