Round 2 recap
The highly anticipated pairing of #24 Whittier and top-seeded Millsaps lived up expectation. Michael English's conventional 3-point play with 13 seconds remaining gave Whittier the lead and the So. Cal. school survived a Millsaps shot with one second remaining to score a 74-73 victory. The top seed will be wondering what happened after seeing a 13-point lead with six minutes to play evaporate. Terry Moss had 21 points for Whittier. Charles Hsu dropped a double-double with 18 points and 14 boards. Whittier now gets #13 W. New England, which had its own Houdini act to perform on Monday night. WNE looked like it was fading in the second half against Lynchburg until it pulled a rabbit from its hat to close the game on a 29-9 surge. Five players in double digits for WNE.
#21 Texas Lutheran continued its march as an 11 seed with a 90-78 win over John Carroll. TL was bulldog tough, grabbing a slim lead early in the second half and just stubbornly held on despite the fact the margin rarely got above five points until late in the proceedings. Five players in double figures for Texas Lutheran. The get #7 Willamette in the Sweet 16 after the latter held on 59-57 against Wittenberg. Michael Powell, a 70+ percent FT shooter this season, missed the front end of a potentially game-tying 1 and 1 opportunity with one second remaining for Witt. Howard Arnold with 20 points, 7 assists and 4 steals for Willamette.
#4 Vassar remains as the top seed after surviving a scare from S. Vermont 62-59 last night. Vassar trailed by 10 with 8:12 remaining, but embarked on an 18-3 run to take the lead. S. Vermont had a half-court shot at the buzzer for the tie that missed the mark. Next up with be 13-seeded upstart Wentworth, which dispatched Webster by a 74-67 count. Neither team held a lead of more than five points in the second half until later. The turning point really seemed to come in the final two minutes as Webster went just 1-for-6 at the charity stripe to fail to keep pace.
#9 Ursinus rode a 7-for-14 spree from long range to a 75-67 victory over Elizabethtown. Now they get ready for brand new #1 Greensboro, which had a bit of a scare as it could never get its fastbreak offense going against St. Joseph's (ME), partly due to a 14-for-33 brickfest at the charity stripe. Still, Greensboro led throughout the second half, though rarely by more than six points in the 64-61 win.
It is perhaps time to apologize to opponents of #6 Johnson and Wales, as the team seemed to take offense to my comparison of classic teams of yesteryear at the school. JW rolled to its second lopsided win of the tourney, 95-76 over Denison. It was close at the half, but 60 percent shooting in the second half allowed JW to pull away, as did 23 forced turnovers by teh JW defense. Bryan Davis with 24 points in the win. Looking for the challenge tonight will be #11 Hardin-Simmons, which used an explosive first half to bury Colorado on the way to an 88-67 victory. Kevin Bell had 23 points as HS forced 27 turnovers.
The lower half of the region has #10 Trinity advancing 73-69 past Emory and Henry. Frank Stuart had 23 points as Trinity built an 11-point lead early in the second half, lost it and then re-asserted itself for an 8-point lead that it defended in the waning minutes. Next in line is defending national champion #8 Penn St. Altoona, who shut down the US Merchant Marines' offense in a 63-51 victory. Dirk Gentry with 20 points and 10 boards in the win. The 10 boards were half as many as the entire USMM team was able to haul in during the game.
#5 Susquehanna continues to roll along, forcing 24 turnovers in a comfortable 83-68 win over Dickinson. Nervous moment for Susquehanna as reserve center Henry Nelson appeared to injure a leg early in the second half and play was stopped. The injury evidently wasn't too severe though as he was back on the floor playing before the final horn sounded. They'll face #25 Emory, which outworked Rivier for a 65-57 win on Monday. Emory has scored 65 points in both its national tournament wins this postseason.
Unranked CSU Eastbay unleashed Lawrence Pina on an unsuspecting Wooster squad. The sophomore went off for 23 points and 14 boards playing the 3 spot as Eastbay won 81-68. Charles Dees had 26 in the losing effort for Wooster, which was outrebounded 44-29 in the contest. Now they get #2 Buena Vista, a 69-58 winner over Sewanee. It was the second time this season Sewanee had successfully held a Buena Vista team averaging 95+ points to a score in the 60s. Like the first time, BV proved more adept at the slow game to take the win. Tim Arriola had 23 points on 7-for-17 from behind the arc in the victory.