CHICAGO -- Third-ranked Washington (Mo.) ran its winning streak to 18 games and secured the fourth undefeated season in University Athletic Association (UAA) history with a 86-73 win at Chicago in the season finale for both teams Saturday.
The Bears also posted an undefeated UAA season in 2001-02, while Chicago was undefeated in UAA play in 1997-98 and 1999-2000. Washington improved its overall record to 23-2, and 14-0 in the UAA, while Chicago ends its season with a 15-10 record, 8-6 in the UAA.
Junior forward Matt Palucki had a game-high 26 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the field, while senior guard Alan Aboona added 25 points and eight assists. Aboona became the 22nd player in school history to 1,000 points after a pair of free-throws with 3:57 left in the contest. Senior forward Chris Klimek had 15 points and six boards in the win.
Washington shot 51.7 percent (30 of 58) from the field in the win, and hit 8 of 16 from 3-point range. The Bears outrebounded Chicago 40-28 and had 17 assists in the win.
Jordan Smith (19), Wayne Simon (18) and Nate Brooks (11) scored in double figures for Chicago, which shot 45 percent (27 of 60) in the loss. The Maroons hit just 3 of 15 from 3-point range in the defeat.
No. 7 Amherst 80, Trinity (Conn.) 82
AMHERST, Mass. -- Aaron Toomey scored 36 points to lead the top-seeded Amherst men’s basketball team to an 80-62 win against fifth-seeded Trinity (Conn.) in NESCAC Semifinal action Saturday at LeFrak Gymnasium.
The 36 points from Toomey were three points shy of tying a NESCAC championship record set by Keala Mills of Wesleyan in 2003. With the win, Amherst (23-3) advances to the finals on Sunday and will face No. 2 Williams in a rematch of last year’s title game in which the Jeffs claimed a 74-73 win. The Bantams fall to 15-11 following the loss.
Toomey shot 8 of 16 from the field, 6 of 11 from behind-the-arc and a perfect 14 of 14 from the free-throw line. He also dished out four assists and finished with six rebounds. Joining him in double-figures was David Kalema, Tom Killian and Connor Green. Kalema and Killian both finished with 12 points each while Kalema recorded a game-high five assists. David George was a force down low, tying a career-high with seven blocks.
The Bantams were led by George Papadeas with a team-high 23 points on 8 of 13 shooting and 7 of 8 from the charity stripe. Papadeas also pulled in a team-high nine boards and blocked two shots. Jaquann Starks was the only other Bantam in double-figures, scoring 12 points while Hart Gliedman and Shay Ajayi posted nine and eight, respectively.
No. 8 Wooster 71, Wittenberg 63
WOOSTER, Ohio -- Evan Pannell matched a career high with 21 points, Kenny DeBoer turned in a North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament MVP performance, and Wooster's defense excelled for long stretches in building a 21-point lead in the second half (58-37), which added up to an eventual 71-63 win for the top-seeded Fighting Scots against the No. 3 seed and their rival, Wittenberg, on Saturday night at Timken Gymnasium.
By winning the NCAC tournament, Wooster (25-3) earns the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Div. III championship field, which starts play with first- and second-round action next weekend, March 7-8.
The Scots will be making their 23rd appearance in the Div. III tourney, 19 of which have come in the past 20 seasons.
No. 9 Williams 78, Middlebury
AMHERST, Mass. -- Second-seeded Williams (23-3) survived a tight game against third-seeded Middlebury (17-9) in the NESCAC semifinals, winning 78-75.
Eph Michael Mayer led all scorers with 27 points, while Joey Kizel led the Panthers with 24 points. Middlebury shot 47.5 percent from the field, while Williams hit 41.1 percent of their shots. In addition, Williams only allowed the Panthers 10 free throw attempts, while the Ephs made 21 of their 26 attempts.
Williams' Hayden Rooke-Ley hit a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left, and after an air ball by Panther Joey Kizel, Duncan Robinson was fouled with 13 seconds on the clock. He converted one of his two shots, but Joey Kizel was fouled on the other end and sunk both of his attempts, cutting the lead back to one. Robinson was then fouled immediately off the inbounds and hit both of his shots to bring the Williams lead back up to three. Joey Kizel tried for the buzzer-beater but couldn't make it go and time expired.