Dec. 30, 2009

UPSET SPECIALS: It was a day for upsets on Dec. 29 as the nation's three highest-ranked teams tumbled in post-Christmas play.

Transylvania took care of No. 1 Washington (Mo.) University in the first game of the Wooster Kiwanis Classic as senior guard Tim Tierney contributed a game-high 25 points, including a pair of free throws with five seconds remaining, to spark the upset victory. The Pioneers snapped the Bears' 16-game winning streak in the first meeting between the two programs. Tierney, who posted a career-high 28 points in his previous outing against Mount Union, also had five assists in the contest.

No. 4 UW-Stevens Point topped second-ranked and previously unbeaten St. Thomas (Minn.), 78-56, in the Sentry Classic Basketball Tournament on Tuesday, ending the Tommies' 33-game regular season winning streak which dated back to February 2008. UWSP head coach Bob Semling picked up his 100th victory at the helm of the Pointers, upping his career winning percentage to .806.

After running its record to 12-0 with an 89-87 win over Whitman on Monday, No. 3 UW-Whitewater was finally knocked off by Whitworth, 94-84, on Dec. 29. Point guard Eric Beal scored 18 points and tallied nine assists and three steals as Whitworth improved to 7-2 on the year and stretched its winning streak to six games.

HIPP TO BE SQUARE: The top three teams were not the only ones to suffer an upset on Dec. 28 as Hamline University nipped No. 8 Wheaton (Ill.) College, 69-68, in the first round of the Thrivant Financial for Lutherans Tournament. Carl Hipp connected on a last-second lay-up to lift the Pipers in their first game since Dec. 12.

Hipp finished the contest with a game-high 19 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. The victory moved Hamline to 4-4 on the year. The Pipers will now face Cal Lutheran in the championship game of the tournament on Dec. 30.

DON'T BANK ON IT: No. 15 St. Norbert and No. 24 University of Chicago were not safe on Tuesday night either as their respective opponents got the best of them in the Nicolet National Bank Holiday Tournament.

Northwestern (Minn.) College handed the Green Knights their first loss of the season, 70-68, as it ended a four-game losing streak. Edgewood College upended the Maroons, 67-61, for its second victory over a nationally-ranked team in the last two years. Northwestern and Edgewood will meet in the championship game of the tournament on Dec. 30.

UNBEATENS CLASH: Both No. 5 Randolph-Macon and No. 12 Williams College moved to 9-0 with victories on Dec. 29 in the first round of the 2009 Rees Jewelers Classic hosted by R-MC.

The Yellow Jackets cruised by the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 82-52, while the Ephs downed Elmira, 85-64, to advance to the championship game of the tournament on Dec. 30. The two nationally-ranked programs have combined for 422 wins in the decade.