St Mary's (TX) 74, Limestone 61: Heartland teams entered last night's action stunned, but mduncanhogs was able to get regain a little bit of respect with a 13 point win over brianxavier's Limestone team.
Limestone entered last night's game with a 4-5 record, but this team is better than their record. They own the 9th hardest SOS and 2 of their 4 wins are over likely NT single-digit seeds Eckerd and St Edwards. St Mary's (TX) always brings it, although their previous 6 wins were against a fairly soft schedule. Their 3 losses are to powerhouse programs Longwood, Seattle, and U of Indy.
St Mary's never trailed in this one and cruised to good win, despite foul trouble for starting PG Shawn Nolan. As usual Terry Coombs led St Marys with 19 and Lonnie Cook came off the bench to contribute 11 points in 12 minutes. Going 24 of 25 from the line as a team didn't hurt either.
Limestone was icy from the field, shooting at a 39% clip. William Pratt had 17 while Eric Avery messed around and got a double-double with 13 & 12.
Longwood 73, W Alabama 61: #1 Longwood proved worthy of their ranking with a 12 point win over a tough W Alabama team.
Bbunch's team has the sickiest D-II backcourt ever with their lone defeat against highly ranked Seattle. In fact, we can declare Longwood Heartland conference champ, with non-con victories over St Mary's (TX), W Alabama, Incarnate Word, and Lincoln. If they keep playing like this, they will win the tough CVAC and have to be favorites for the NT. Brian_bowen's W Alabama team had done a nice job collecting non-conference wins, but hadn't seen anyone even close to the caliber of Longwood.
W Alabama slowed it down and actually led for much of the first half. Longwood turned it on at the 10:00 mark and steadily ground away, crusing to a double-digit win. The backcourt of Davis and Schwizer combined for 32, going 9-of-9 from the charity stripe. Undersized front-courter Steve Wert put in 11, but snatched 16 boards. Robert Hixson led W Alabama with 20, but on 6-of-19 shooting. Like many of Longwood's opponents, W Alabama struggled to put the ball in the basket, shooting 39%. Teams are managing 41% from the floor against Longwood.
Belmont Abbey 73, Incarnate Word 72: Belmont Abbey's Ian Austin make's a FT with 4 seconds left to eeke out a one point win versus Incarnate Word. This matcup featured two teams going in opposite directions. Crashdive has been getting the most out of his team, with BA yet to take a loss this season. IW had 4 wins entered the game, one quality win against Hillsdale and 3 wins against opponents that had gone a combined 2-28.
Neither team shot well in this one, with both squads at a shade over 41%. Incarnate Word had a 41-36 advantage on the boards, but BA made ten more free throws. SF Johnny Ryan led BA with 19, while Lowell Harris scored a game-high 23 in IW's losing effort.