Metro State beats UCCS 83-77, becomes third RMAC team to go undefeated
No. 1 Metro State 83, Colorado-Colorado-Springs 77
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Top-ranked Metro State became the third team in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference history to go undefeated in conference play, earning an 83-77 win at Colorado-Colorado Springs on Saturday to wrap up the regular season. The Roadrunners have captured their eighth RMAC regular season title and second in a row, as they improved to 25-1 overall and 22-0 in the RMAC. UCCS fell to 19-7 overall and 16-6 in the RMAC.
The Roadrunners joined the 1995-96 Fort Hays State (16-0 record) team and the 2003-04 Metro State (19-0) team in RMAC history.
Metro State, the hottest team in Division II with a 22-game winning streak, snapped a 10-game winning streak by the Mountain Lions. The 22 conference wins are also an RMAC record.
Metro State's Brandon Jefferson, Nicholas Kay and Mitch McCarron combined for 76 points. Jefferson scored a game-high 28 points on 8 of 17 shooting, while making all nine of his free throw attempts, including four in the final minute. Kay and McCarron each had 24 points. Kay also had 10 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double and shot 9 of 15 from the floor. McCarron had eight rebounds and shot 8-of-14.
Derrick White led the Mountain Lions with 16 points.
Metro State earns the No. 1 seed in the RMAC Shootout and will host an opponent to be determined at on Tuesday in the quarterfinals.
Texas A&M-Commerce 79, No. 2 Tarleton State 76
COMMERCE, Texas -- The A&M-Commerce Lions hit seven foul shots in the final 90 seconds of the game, and held on to upset No. 2 Tarleton State 79-76 on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 1,645 at The Field House.
The win gives the Lions (18-8, 7-7 LSC) its first four-game win streak to close out the regular season since the 2004-05 campaign, and snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Texans (24-2, 12-2 LSC).
It also secures the No. 4 overall seed in the upcoming Lone Star Conference Tournament for the Lions.
LaDon Carnegie was the go-to hand for A&M-Commerce throughout the night, going for 34 points and nine rebounds on the night. He hit 10 of his 17 field goal tries, and 10 of 12 from the foul line, including four of the Lions' 10 three-point buckets on the night.
But once again it was Tyrie Wooten who hit the go-ahead free throws with under 33 seconds to play, followed by a pair from Devondrick Walker with just 9.2 seconds left to go up by three after a defensive stop. Emmanuel Andrews got of one final 3-point try for the Texans that misfired off the back rim as time expired.
Walker was the only other Lion in double figures on the night, hitting for 16 points, hitting four threes of his own. Meanwhile, Tarleton had five players in double figures, led by Chuck Guy's 18 points.
No. 4 West Liberty 70, Wheeling Jesuit 50
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. -- Keene Cockburn set a school record with 10 blocked shots and No. 4 West Liberty maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half in a convincing 70-50 win against Wheeling Jesuit on Senior Day before an overflow crowd at the ASRC.
Coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers (24-2, 20-2) completed another season sweep of their Ohio County rivals – West Liberty has won 12 of the past 13 meetings – while waking up some echoes for their head coach.
"We used to be known for closing games out like that," Crutchfield said. "When we're up by double-figures with 4-5 minutes left, we start looking to run some time and score with the shot clock in single digits. We haven't been as efficient with that this season as we've been in past years but I thought we handled it much better tonight."
The Cardinals were held to 29 percent shooting (8 of 27) from the floor in the second half and didn't score a single point in the game's last 5 minutes.
Cockburn shattered Kevin Higgins' 20-year-old school record of 8 blocks against Shepherd on Feb. 4, 1994.
Cedric Harris had 12 points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals in his final regular-season home game while C.J. Hester added 13 points and 9 rebounds to go along with Shawn Dyer's 13 points and 6 rebounds for WLU. Justin Fritts had 12 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds to lead Wheeling Jesuit.
The top-seeded Hilltoppers received a first-round bye in next week's MEC Tournament.
Dixie State 106, No. 7 California Baptist 100
ST. GEORGE, Utah -- With 2.3 seconds remaining in regulation, Anthony Cosentino dunked to tie the game at 90-90 and send the No. 7 California Baptist Lancers into their first overtime period of the year.
CBU couldn't hold off a strong Dixie State attack, however, dropping its second loss of the season 106-100 to the home squad. The loss puts the Lancers 24-2, 18-2 in the PacWest, heading into the conference tournament as the top-seeded team. Dixie State ends the regular season 21-5 overall and 15-5 in the PacWest, heading into the postseason as the conference's three seed.
Ryan Berg led a quartet of Lancers in double figures with 25 points on the night off 10-for-17 shooting. Cosentino followed with 23 points, shooting 9-for-12 from the field and 5-for-6 from 3-point range. Chris Brown ended with 18 (8-for-15) and Michael Smith added 10 (3-for-10).
No. 8 South Carolina Aiken 107, North Carolina-Pembroke 91
AIKEN, S.C. -- Eighth-ranked South Carolina Aiken shot nearly 60 percent from the field and rallied back from an early 19-point deficit to top the North Carolina-Pembroke 107-91 in the season finale for the Braves on Saturday evening in the Convocation Center.
The setback marked the fourth consecutive loss for the Braves (14-15, 5-14 PBC), who closed the books on the 2013-14 campaign with the trip to central South Carolina as well. USC Aiken (26-3, 18-1), who clinched the Peach Belt Conference's regular season title with a win at GRU Augusta on Wednesday, will be the top seed in next week's PBC Tournament in Columbus, Ga.
Griffin Pittman scored a team-best 23 points on 8-for-18 shooting to pace the Braves, who also got a career high 20 points from Keysheen Hinton. Brandon Winford chipped in 19 points and finished one rebound shy of tallying his ninth double-double of the campaign, while Quamain Rose tallied 11 points.
Ronald Zimmerman poured in a game-high 36 points on 11-of-19 shooting for the Pacers, while DeVontae Wright added a double-double with 22 points and 13 assists. Paul Larsen and Alvin Brown each registered conventional double-doubles for the hosts as well. Larsen had 17 points and 12 boards, while Brown added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
No. 10 Colorado Mines 110, Colorado Christian 69
LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Tenth-ranked Colorado Mines put seven players in double figures and used a plus-25 rebounding margin to close the regular season with a 110-69 win against Colorado Christian on Saturday evening at the CCU Event Center.
The Orediggers (23-3, 19-3 RMAC) will now turn their attention to the postseason and that jouney will start on Tuesday evening with a 7 p.m. matchup at Lockridge Arena.
Mines shot better than 55 percent from both the field and the perimeter, led by the front court trio of Trevor Wages, Luke Meisch and Caleb Waitsman, who combined for 45 points on 15 of 23 shooting.
Wages recorded his 13th double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds. The Littleton native finished 5 of 8 from the floor while adding three blocks and a steal on the defensive end.
Meisch posted a team-high 18 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the floor, including 2 of 2 from the perimeter and 4 of 4 from the foul line. He added five rebounds and missed just one shot in an 11-point first half.
Waitsman needed just 19 minutes on the floor to record a season-high 14 points and eight rebounds. He added an assist and a steal and finished 4 of 5 from the field and a perfect 6 of 6 from the foul line.