Second round: Comeback King's

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Celia Rader was on target all night for King's in its upset victory.
Photo by Frank Lauri

Last week at this time Carthage and King's were not even sure they would be in the NCAA tournament. Now they are headed to the Sweet 16.

King's rallied to stun No. 8 William Paterson and two other Top 10 teams exited the tournament in the second round, one at home and one on the road.

William Paterson held a 10-point lead at King's with 2:30 left and appeared on its way to the Sweet 16. But the Monarchs shut out the Pioneers the rest of the way and hit three consecutive three-pointers to pull within one. Katlin Michaels scored a layup with 42 seconds left to put King's up 64-63 and the Monarchs held on the rest of the way. King's was led by Celia Rader who scored 27 points on a school-record nine three-pointers. Rader's nine three-pointers also ties an NCAA tournament single-game record.

Carthage eliminated No. 4 DePauw 53-48 in Indiana to reach the sectional round for the second time in program history. The Lady Reds were outrebounded by 22 (41 to 19) but made 50 percent of their shots in the victory. Carthage head coach Tim Bernero said, "When I looked at the stats sheet after the game, it didn't make any sense.  They were every bit as advertised as to how they handle you on the boards.  The play a methodical style, and they're hard to guard."

Maggie Prewitt led Centre past Washington U. with 21 points.

Carthage will face No. 22 Centre next because the Colonels knocked off No. 9 Washington U. 57-55. Centre trailed by 12 at the half but erased the deficit by outscoring the Bears 19-7 to start the second half. Chelsea Benham made a jumper with 58 seconds left to tie the game at 55 and then hit two free-throws to win the game. Maggie Prewitt led Centre with 21 points, including 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.

No. 2 Chicago held off No. 18 UW-Eau Claire 56-52 to advance to the Sweet 16. The Blugolds took a 50-49 lead on an Ellen Plendl layup with two minutes left, but Morgan Herrick answered by scoring the next five for the Maroons. Plendl finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds in 39 minutes.

In the late final, George Fox stayed undefeated by beating Lewis and Clark 52-50 in a thrilling finish. Katie Anderson hit a deep three-pointer that would have given the Pioneers the victory, but the referees ruled the shot came after the buzzer.  The Pioneers finish the season with a 25-4 record and all four losses came against George Fox.

No. 5 Calvin also survived a battle with a WIAC opponent at home. The Knights knocked off No. 11 UW-Stevens Point 76-71. All four WIAC teams have been eliminated from the tournament. Carissa Verkaik led the way for Calvin with 29 points and 11 boards.

For the third consecutive season, Amherst eliminated Babson from the NCAA tournament, this time by a score of 61-48. Sarah Collins, Nicki Wurdeman and Kathleen King scored 44 points and grabbed 38 rebounds for Babson. Unfortunately the rest of the team had just four points and nine rebounds. Caroline Stedman and Marcia Voigt each scored 15 for the defending national champions.

Amherst will face York (Pa.) next. The Spartans ousted Juniata 90-81 by shooting a scorching 66 percent from the field (35-for-53). Brittany Hicks had 27 points and April Sparkman added 23 for York (Pa.). That sectional is completed by King's and Emmanuel which ended Rhode Island College's run 57-52. The Saints outrebounded the Anchorwomen 57-39.

The NESCAC put three teams in the Sweet 16. Bowdoin upended Ithaca 55-51 to win that sectional. Tufts defeated Johns Hopkins 55-46 despite shooting 33 percent (16-for-48) and getting outrebounded by five. The Bluejays committed 21 turnovers in the loss.

The CCIW will have two teams in the sectional round as Illiniois Wesleyan joined Carthage by crushing Thomas More 87-50. The Titans led 49-21 at the half and outscored the Saints 40-16 in the paint.

Mary Washington's run continues into the NCAA's sectional round.

Mary Washington topped Messiah 53-50 to keep its undefeated season going. Nicky Hess hit a three-pointer to put Messiah up 50-49 with 1:03 to play. Jenna McRae answered for the Eagles with a layup and then, after a Messiah turnover, hit two free throws to give her 20 points for the game. Mary Washington will play another MAC Commonwealth team in the next round. Lebanon Valley ousted Mount St. Mary 70-53 as four of the Flying Dutchmen's five starters scored double-digits. 

The other Mount -- Mount Union -- is still alive. The Purple Raiders rallied to beat Muhlenberg 61-55 for their 25th consecutive win at home. Mount Union held Muhlenberg to two made shots on 12 attempts over the game's final 12:29. Alexandra Chili, who finishes her career as the Centennial Conference's all-time leading scorer, had 18 for the Mules.

St. Thomas also kept its long winning streak going. The Tommies, who have won 28 in a row, topped Coe 51-45 to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001.