March 13, 2009

Courtesy of Guilford

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio (3/13/09) – Tyler Sanborn totaled 23 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks to power visiting Guilford College past John Carroll University, 78-73, Friday’s ‘Sweet 16’ round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament.

With the win, the Quakers (24-5) advance to the playoffs’ ‘Elite Eight’ round for the second time in three years and will play the University of Texas-Dallas Saturday (3/14) at 7:00 p.m. in John Carroll’s DeCarlo Varsity Center. The winner advances to the Division III Final Four next weekend in Salem, Va.

John Carroll, ranked 10th in the most recent Top 25 Poll, ends the season with a 25-5 mark after suffering its first loss in 22 games.

Tyler SanbornSanborn (left), who led all scorers and rebounders, registered his team-leading 18th double-double of the season by halftime. The 23rd-ranked Quakers effectively handled the Blue Streaks’ swarming full-court pressure and worked the ball inside to Sanborn who had 11 first-half points and 14 rebounds to give the guests a 37-29 halftime edge.

A Sanborn dunk opened an 11-point Guilford lead early in the second half, but the Blue Streaks answered with an 8-1 run, capped by a Rudy Kirbus three-pointer that made it a 59-55 game with 7:03 remaining in regulation.

The teams traded baskets down the stretch as Guilford kept the hosts from gaining momentum. Chris Zajac’s jumper with 1:57 left made it a three-point game, but Guilford reserve T.C. Anderson made it a two-possession contest again with two free throws eight seconds later. A Bryan Dandrea three-pointer drew the Blue Streaks to within 75-73 with 19 seconds left, but the basket proved John Carroll’s final points of the game. Guilford’s Clay Henson sealed the win with three free throws in the final 14 seconds.

Sanborn, Guilford’s 6-9 junior center, made 11-of-18 shots from the floor. The Blue Streaks tried to front Sanborn for most of the game, but the Quakers were able to get the ball over the defense to Sanborn in close range to the basket. He is averaging 20.3 points, 16.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in the Quakers’ three NCAA games, but said the win was a team effort.

“All week long we practiced against their pressure,” Sanborn said. “Our guards and George (Neville) did a great job of handling the pressure, which was key to the win.”

Guilford’s Rhett Bonner scored 21 points, 11 in the first half on seven-for-12 field-goal shooting, 11 in the first half. Henson shot just two-for-12 from the floor, but finished with 12 points. The Quakers shot better than 52 percent from the floor and held a 39-37 rebounding edge.

Tyler Kirsch paced John Carroll with 14 points. Corey Shonts scored all 12 of his markers off the bench in the second half.  Matt Crozier and Maurice Haynes added 10 points apiece. Crozier led the Blue Streaks with 11 rebounds.

Guilford’s win sets up a rematch of the Nov. 22, 2008, contest between the Quakers and UT-Dallas. The Comets scored a 64-48 win over Guilford in the second game of the Fred Jacoby/I-20 Classic in Richardson, Texas. The Quakers held a 27-26 halftime lead in the game, but the Comets outscored Guilford, 38-21, in the second half. Texas-Dallas is coached by Terry Butterfield, a former UNC Greensboro assistant men’s basketball coach and formerly the head coach at Virginia Wesleyan College. Guilford head coach Tom Palombo, a Virginia Wesleyan graduate, served on the Marlins’ staff with Butterfield as his alma mater’s women’s basketball coach in the early 1990s.