Feb. 17, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville achieved its first 20-win season in 10 years as the Pioneers turned back UW-Superior, 69-53, Feb. 14.  The last time the Pioneers reached the 20-win mark was during the 1998-99 season when current University of Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan was at the helm of the program.

UWP head coach Paul Combs also marked his 100th victory in his sixth season in charge of the Pioneers’ program.  This year’s team is the 15th in school history to reach 20 wins and the first since the 30-2 national championship squad of 1998-99.

Despite a loss to UW-Whitewater earlier in the week, the Pioneers remained in the No. 4 spot in the D3hoops.com Top 25. 

No. 5 UW-Stevens Point leads the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 13-1 mark, while the Pioneers and No. 3 UW-Whitewater are tied for second place with identical 12-1 league records.

RACING TO THE FINISH:  Centre College won a battle between the top two teams in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Eastern Division as the Colonels downed DePauw University, 75-50, on Feb. 14. 

The Colonels are now in sole possession of first place in the league standings.  They have won 10 of their last 11 contests, jumping six spots to No. 17 in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25.

Centre leads the SCAC in scoring defense with 59.1 points per game and field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 38.9 percent shooting.

GOOD CHOICE: Rhode Island College posted its 10th straight victory with an 86-72 win over Southern Maine on Feb. 14 as the Anchormen remained in control of first place in the Little East Conference standings.

Freshman forward Mason Choice propelled the Anchorman with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, along with four rebounds and three assists.  Choice, a native of Newport, R.I., paces the LEC with a 64.2 field goal percentage.  The Anchormen lead the conference with a 45.3 field goal percentage.
No. 18 RIC has won 14 of its last 15 games, and will look to claim at least a share of the LEC regular season title with a victory at Western Connecticut Feb. 17. 

BUZZING AROUND:  Defiance College’s Anthony Pettaway contributed a pair of 20-point outings as he helped the Yellow Jackets to a 2-0 mark against Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foes last week.

The senior center netted a season-high 23 points with 14 rebounds in a 68-64 win over Mount St. Joseph, and then added 20 points and nine rebounds in the Jackets’ 78-65 defeat of Rose-Hulman.  The native of Toledo, Ohio, was named HCAC Player of the Week for his efforts.  Pettaway has led the Jackets in scoring in each of the last four games, and in 10 contests during the season.

Defiance can clinch a share of the HCAC title with victories over Bluffton and Franklin this week.

NOTABLE:  Randolph-Macon worked its way back into the D3hoops.com Top 25 at No. 24 this week after winning seven of its last eight games.  The Yellow Jackets topped Virginia Wesleyan at home to conclude their regular season home schedule with a perfect 12-0 mark … Amherst College concluded the regular season by ending Middlebury’s school-record 17-game winning streak as the Lord Jeffs handed the Panthers their only defeat of the New England Small College Athletic Conference season.  The upset earned Amherst the No. 2 seed in the NESCAC Championship as the Lord Jeffs will host Trinity in league quarterfinals Feb. 21.  Amherst also landed at No. 23 in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 following the upset