FARMINGTON, Maine — Husson men’s basketball team advanced to the North Atlantic Conference final with an 80-70 win over Colby-Sawyer Friday night.
The Eagles established an early lead and went into the half up 37-32. The Chargers closed the lead down to an eventual tie at 53-53 and a brief lead on a Wol Majong free throw to put them up 54-53 with 10:35 remaining in the game. Husson countered back and slowly extended the lead out of reach.
Marc Zaharchuk was the leading scorer for the Eagles going 5-of-7 from the field and 12-of-13 from the free throw line for a total of 22 points on the night. Zaharchuk added 9 rebounds and 1 block in his 31 minutes of play.
Wes Murphy continued his success at the 3-point arc going 5-9 on the night for a total of 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 assist. Zaharchuk and Murphy weren’t the only Eagles in double digit scoring; Eric Modica and Aaron Willis both had 14 points. Modica had 5 assists and brought down two boards, while Willis had 3 assists and 2 steals.
Majong led the way for the Chargers with 24 points, including four 3-point baskets and shooting 10-11 from the line. Mike Dias had 14 points, 9 rebounds, and one steal, while Zach Bean added 13 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal.
With this win the No. 2 Eagles advance to face No. 4 Castleton State College at 2 p.m. Saturday.
FARMINGTON, Maine — The fourth-seeded Castleton State Spartans jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they upset the top-seeded University of Maine-Farmington Beavers 70-46 in the North Atlantic Conference semifinals Friday night in Farmington.
Mark Comstock led the way for Castleton, tallying a game-high 25 points, and shot an incredible 10-for-11 (90.9 percent) from the field. He also added three assists and two steals.
The Spartans used a swarming defense to shut down UMF’s offensive attack, holding Ben Johnson scoreless in the first half, and to just eight points and eight rebounds on the night.
Castleton used a 12-0 run in the first half to pull away to a 37-19 lead at halftime, shooting 68.2 percent from the field, and an even more impressive 85.7 percent from behind the arc. They out-rebounded the Beavers 16-7, and held UMF to 33.3 percent shooting.
The Spartans dominated the boards throughout the game, out-rebounding the Beavers 29-20. They also had 11 more assists than UMF, and the Beavers did not make a single free throw in the game.
Logan White and Jeremy Odena were also in double figures for Castleton, scoring 12 and 10 points respectively. Nate Carson was the only Beaver in double figures with 12 points of his own, including knocking down a pair of threes. Andrew Dickey added nine points before fouling out of the game late in the second half.
Comstock, White, and Odena combined for eight of Castleton’s 10 made three’s, and the team shot 62.5 percent from three in the game. Castleton’s bench outscored UMF’s 17-2 in the game.
Castleton 79, UMF 47
CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton women’s basketball team started slow but took control in the second half to advance to North Atlantic Conference Championship with a 79-47 victory over the University of Maine at Farmington, Friday evening in Glenbrook Gym.
The defending conference champions shot just 33.3 percent in the opening half but still led 37-24 by forcing 22 turnovers. The Spartans finished the game at 38.8 percent from the floor and forced 31 turnovers as they improved to 26-1 overall as the return to the NAC Championship for the fifth straight year.
UMF made just 30.4 percent of its shots from the field as the team finished its season at 12-14 overall. Lindsay Ranquist was the only Beaver in double figures with 13 points and five rebounds. Rachel Clement recorded nine points and scored four points while Kelsey Graffam totaled seven points.
Liz Douglass scored 15 first-half points and finished the game with 19 to lead the Spartans. Alyssa Leonard joined her in double figures with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists. Tarryn Bolognani added ten points and Kelly Conway chipped in with seven points, five assists and five steals. Heather Murdough pulled down a team-high nine rebounds off the bench.
UMF came out aggressive and took a 9-8 lead on a layup by Ranquist with 15:29 left in the half. Leonard responded with a layup to give the Spartans back the lead and Douglass scored four straight to push the Castleton lead to 14-9 with 13:07.
The Beavers went on an 8-4 run from there and cut the Spartan lead to just one when Clement hit a layup to make it 18-17 with 9:19 left in the first. The Spartans responded by ramping up their defensive pressure, forcing 10 UMF turnovers in the final seven minutes of the first half. They capitalized on the Beavers’ mistakes, going on a 19-5 run to end the frame, taking a 37-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, the Spartans started to pull away from the visiting Beavers. Leonard and Conway hit three-pointers on consecutive Castleton possessions to extend the Spartan lead to 15 with 16:21 remaining. The baskets sparked a 25-8 run for the Spartans over the next eight minutes to make the score 66-38 with 8:57 remaining.
GORHAM, Maine – Senior guards Haley Jordan and Nicole Garland combined to score 40 points to lead the top-seeded and nationally-ranked University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 73-62 win over the fifth-seeded Rhode Island College Anchorwomen in the semifinal round of the 2013 Little East Conference women’s basketball championship at Hill Gymnasium in Gorham, Maine.
Southern Maine improves to 26-1 and will face third-seeded UMass Dartmouth in the championship game at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Rhode Island College concludes its season at 16-11. UMass Dartmouth defeated second-seeded Western Connecticut State 74-64 in overtime in the second semifinal game to advance to its first LEC final.
Jordan paced three Huskies in double figures with a game-high 21 points. Jordan connected on 7-of-11 from the field, while converting on each of her six attempts from the foul. Garland produced 19 points, including five three-pointers, to establish a new Southern Maine single-season record for 3-pointers made (82). Garland held the previous record of 78 set during the 2011-12 season. Sophomore Rebecca Knight chipped in with 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Junior guard Erin McNamara added nine points, four assists and two steals.
The first half was a seesaw affair with each team making a substantial run. Garland drained a pair of 3-pointers to push the Huskies lead to 12-5. She set the Southern Maine standard with her three-pointer from the right wing with 12:35 remaining in the half.
Following a timeout, Rhode Island College began to assert itself on the offensive end by scoring nine of the next 11 points to forge a 14-all tie. Senior forward Courtney Burns knocked down a pair of jumpers, while freshman forward Vandell Andrade completed the run with a traditional 3-point play.
Jordan scored nine of the next 13 points to give the Huskies an advantage that they would not relinquish. Sophomore guard Stephanie Gallagher (York, Maine) sandwiched a pair of lay ups between a Jordan make to give Southern Maine a 31-21 lead heading into the locker room.
The Huskies opened the second half with a pair of buckets to stretch their advantage to a game-high 14 points, but Rhode Island College countered with a 12-2 run to trim its deficit to 37-33. Burns sparked the surge with four points, while freshman point guard Danielle LeBlanc capped the run with back-to-back 3-pointers.
A Garland triple appeared to stem the tide for the Huskies, but the Anchorwomen continued to apply the offensive pressure with a 12-6 run to whittle their deficit to one point (50-49). Burns once again fueled the run with a layup and a traditional three-point play, while senior guard Ashley O’Dell finished the surge with a 3-pointer.
Unfazed by the charging visitors, Southern Maine responded with a 10-0 run to break open the contest. Garland sandwiched a pair of triples between a pair of Jordan foul shots to balloon the Huskies’ lead to 58-49 with eight minutes to go. Jordan completed the decisive run with a jumper in the paint.
The Huskies converted on 11 out of 12 free throws down to stretch to maintain their double-digit advantage. McNamara connected on five of six attempts, while Jordan sank a pair with just 37 seconds remaining to book Southern Maine’s 27th appearance in the Little East championship game.
Burns led Rhode Island College with 17 points, while Andrade nearly posted a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. LeBlanc (Warwick, R.I.) piloted the Anchorwomen attack with four assists.