Amy Farnum, NCAA.com
Manhattanville College won its fifth consecutive game while handing Purchase, 66-54, its first defeat on Dec. 19 at the world-famous Madison Square Garden. It was the first time the Valiants competed at MSG in more than 15 years.
The Valiants (8-1) have tied their best nine-game start to a season and are just outside the top 25 of the latest D3hoops.com poll. MC was also 8-1 to open the 1977-78, 1985-86 and 2006-07 seasons.
Junior guard Trevoy Pointer netted a game-high 21 points and four steals against Purchase, earning league player-of-the-week honors for the second time in three weeks and the third time in his career. Pointer paces the squad with 17.9 points per game while hitting 48.0 percent from the floor.
Need to Know
•Randolph-Macon junior guard Adam Desgain turned in a remarkable performance from beyond the arc as the Yellow Jackets stung Averett, 97-55, last weekend. Desgain came off the bench to hit 11 3-pointers in the contest, tying the school and Old Dominion Athletic Conference single-game record. A native of Richmond, Va., finished 11-of-15 from long range, grabbing a career-high 33 points. Desgain was selected ODAC Player of the Week for his performance. The Yellow Jackets, ranked No. 11 in the latest D3hoops.com top-25 poll, enter the holiday break on a four-game winning streak.
•The leading scorer in Division III men’s basketball is making every point count. Kean University senior forward hit the game-winning basket in the Cougars’ 75-74 win over DeSales University on Dec. 21, minutes after reaching the 1,000-point plateau. Jones finished the evening with 14 points and 17 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season. He also added a career-high five assists. Jones leads the nation in scoring (24.5 ppg) and rebounds per game (15.5), helping the Cougars win three consecutive games and six of their last seven entering the holiday break.
•Sophomore forward J.R. Gray garnered Capital Athletic Conference Player-of-the-Week honors after sparking Mary Washington to four victories in six days and extending the Eagle’s win streak to seven games. The highlight of the week for the Staunton, Va., native was a 17-point performance with six rebounds and four blocked shots in the Eagles’ first win over Christopher Newport since 1985. He added 19 points, six rebounds and four blocks in UMW’s win over Greensboro before capping the week with a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) in just 12 minutes in a 100-79 victory against Bayamon Central University in Puerto Rico.
•Willamette University sophomore Sean Dart is the only player in Division III who is hitting better than 70 percent from the field. He hit 70.7 percent of his shots through the first nine games and scored in double-figures each contest, including a career-best 31 points against Northwest Christian University on Nov. 20. He is scoring 17.4 points per game with 8.3 rebounds per contest.
No. 22 Chapman University stretched its winning streak to eight games with a 78-65 over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament first-round contest… Johns Hopkins coach Bill Nelson will be vying for his 500th career victory when the Blue Jays head to the Randolph-Macon Coaches Classic where it will face with Averett on Dec. 30. He will become the 29th coach in Division III history and 15th active coach to reach the milestone… UW-River Falls guard Jontae Koonkaew tallied a career-best 29 points with five assists and five rebounds while coming off the bench to lift the Falcons to an 81-74 victory over Hamline.