PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Mike Garrow was sidelined by foul trouble in the first half, but made up for his absence after intermission.
Garrow poured in 19 of his 20 points in the second half Friday night, tallying seven points in the final 43 seconds to lift Eastern Connecticut to an 81-75 victory over Husson University of Bangor in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship at Plattsburgh State University.
The Warriors (23-6) advance to Saturday’s second round, while coach Warren Caruso’s Eagles closed out a superb season at 26-3.
Trachone Preston paced ECSU, the runner-up from the Little East Conference and an at-large selection, with a game-high 23 points, including 8-for-8 free-throw shooting, and three assists. Garrow converted eight of nine foul shots, while Kevin Leumene tallied 11 points.
Hugh Lindo netted nine points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to help the Warriors outrebound the Eagles 46-25. Brian Salzillo added nine points.
Husson placed five players in double figures, spearheaded by Brooks Spaulding (6 rebounds) and Aaron Willis with 15 points each. Trevon Butler contributed 12 points and six rebounds, Mike Gonzales provided 12 points and three assists and Corey Wood chipped in with 10 points.
The Eagles shot 45 percent from the floor and converted 25 of 33 free throws, but went 2-for-10 from the 3-point line.
Husson led by as many as eight points in the first half, which was marred by numerous foul calls.
However, ECSU gradually turned things around with an extended 23-5 scoring run that consumed nearly 12 minutes during the second half.
Preston scored five points, including a 3-pointer, and Garrow tallied four points during a 10-2 surge that put the Warriors in front 51-49 with 11:53 to play.
After the second of two straight layups by Dan Fleming, ECSU kept the momentum alive by scoring 13 of the next 14 points. Leumene made two baskets as the Warriors made it 64-52 on a Michael-Thomas Sciro hoop with 7:19 remaining.
Husson made a final charge. Two Wood free throws cut the deficit to five points, then Spaulding made a layup and Wood scored off his own steal to make it 72-71 with 1:04 left.
However, ECSU stayed in front with Garrow’s three-point play and the Eagles could not get closer than two after that.
At Radnor, Pa., Richard Stockton committed only eight fouls and outscored Bowdoin College of Brunswick 13-0 from the foul line to earn the NCAA Division III tournament first-round victory.
Josh Blamon’s 20 points and eight rebounds led the winners (24-4), who committed only one turnover. Rich Suhr connected for 18 points and Kevin Johnson added 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Richard Stockton shot 47 percent overall and prevailed despite being outrebounded 38-26.
John Swords logged a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds along with five assists and three blocked shots to power the Polar Bears (19-6). Andrew Madlinger connected for 16 points and Keegan Pieri added 10 points and three assists for Bowdoin.
The Polar Bears shot 14-for-34 from the 3-point arc and 46 percent overall.
At Medford, Mass., junior Kelly Coleman matched her career high with 32 points to lead the University of New England by New York University 80-77 in the first round of the NCAA Tourney at Tufts University.
The Nor’easters (27-2) advance to face Tufts (27-1), a 66-43 winner over Saint Joseph’s of Standish.
Coleman was 11-for-19 from the floor and 8-for-9 at the free throw line to match her career best. She also added seven rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.
UNE freshman center Alicia Brown also tied her career high, finishing with 18 points. Sophomore guards Meghan Gribbin and Alanna Vose combined for 21 points, with Vose tallying all 10 of hers after halftime.
Forward Kaitlyn Read poured in a team-high 25 points to pace the Violets (20-6).
Kelsey Morehead scored 17 points to lead Tufts and Hayley Kanner added 16.
Morgan Cahill paced St. Joe’s (23-6) with 22 points and Abby Young added 18 points and 10 rebounds.
At Brunswick, Castleton State (Vt.) overcame a six-point halftime deficit and went on a 17-4 scoring run to start the second en route to knocking off the host Polar Bears in an NCAA Tourney first-round game.
Bowdoin cut Castleton’s lead to 62-60 with 11 seconds left when Kirsten Prue nailed a 3-pointer, but Castleton’s Jade Desroches sandwiched free throws around a layup by Bowdoin’s Shannon Brady to secure the victory.
Desroches paced Castleton (25-3) with 32 points.
Brady finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds to pace Bowdoin (21-5). Megan Phelps chipped in with 16 points and 10 rebounds while Sara Binkhorst added 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists.