Sophomore guard Nate Axelrod (5'7''-PG) (Dublin/Coffman) hit a trio of 3-pointers during a pair of first-half runs that helped 10th-ranked Ohio Wesleyan build a double-digit lead, and the Bishops withstood a potential game-tying shot in holding on for a win over Lynchburg in second-round action in the NCAA Division III tournament on Saturday at Branch Rickey Arena. Ohio Wesleyan advances to the round of 16 to face Benedictine (Ill.) in a sectional semifinal game on Friday. The other sectional semifinal matches St. Norbert (Wis.) against Alma (Mich.). The games will be played on the campus of one of the competing institutions. The Bishops led, 94-84, with 3:27 remaining when Lynchburg rallied with a 3-pointer by Zack Burnett (6'2''-G) and a lay-in by Alex Graves (6'4''-F). Junior post Ben Simpson (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest) scored on a putback to give Ohio Wesleyan a 3-possession lead at 96-89 with 2:20 remaining, but the Hornets countered when Burnett converted a 3-point play off an A.J. Hamilton (6'1''-G/F) steal. After forcing a 30-second violation, Lynchburg pulled to within 96-94 on Burnett's lay-in with :57 left in regulation time. Axelrod drove for a lay-in that didn't fall, and the Hornets cleared the rebound with a chance to tie. Sophomore guard Seth Clark (6'3''-G) (Lewis Center/Olentangy) came up with a steal and was fouled, and Clark hit the first of 2 free throws for a 97-94 Bishop lead with :12 left. Bobby Ford (6'3''-G) got a look at a game-tying 3-pointer, but his shot hit the rim. Ford, following his shot, tipped the ball back in the direction of Burnett, but the ball bounced into the backcourt. Burnett chased the ball down but was not able to get off a shot before the buzzer. Ohio Wesleyan opened the game with a 10-2 burst that included 3-pointers by senior wing Claude Gray (6'4''-F) (Avon) and Axelrod. The Hornets chipped away at the deficit, closing to within 19-16 on Ford's 3-pointer with 13:01 left in the first half. Axelrod knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and Simpson added another bucket from long range during a 13-4 Ohio Wesleyan run that made it 32-20 just past the midway point of the half, and Ohio Wesleyan would take its biggest lead of the half on a Clark 3-pointer that made it 53-38 with 3:13 to play. Ohio Wesleyan still led by 15 points at 74-59 with 12:33 remaining, and the Bishops had a double-digit lead with 3:27 to go when the Hornets started their comeback. Axelrod, Clark, and Simpson scored 22 points apiece for Ohio Wesleyan, with Simpson grabbing a team-high 16 rebounds and Axelrod dishing out 7 assists. Gray added 20 points, giving the Bishops their first quartet of 20-point scorers in a game for the first time in recent history. Gray's 20 points increased his career total to 1445, moving him into 10th place on the Ohio Wesleyan career list ahead of Lee Rowlinson, who scored 1434 points from 1985-88. Ohio Wesleyan attempted 50 3-point shots in the game, breaking the school and arena record of 47 set against Allegheny on Feb. 13. Burnett led all scorers with 30 points. Graves finished with 17 points, Austen Arnold scored 15 points, and Hamilton added 10 points. Courtesy of: battlingbishops.com
Player of the Year: Joey Flannery (6'5''-G) of Babson Rookie of the Year: Jake Ross (6'4''-G) of Springfield Coach of the Year: Jeff Brown of Middlebury 1st Team Marcos Echevarria (5'10''-PG) of Nichols Joey Flannery of Babson Matt St.Amour (6'3''-G) of Middlebury Hugh Lindo (6'4''-F-94) of Eastern Connecticut Edward Ogundeko (6'5''-C/F) of Trinity (Conn.) 2nd Team Raheem Anderson (6'1''-G) of Husson Daniel Aronowitz (6'5''-G) of Williams Jake Ross of Springfield Matt Ozzella (6'4''-G/F... [read more]
Player of the Year: Joey Flannery (6'5''-G) of Babson College of Babson Rookie of the Year: Jake Ross (6'4''-G) of Springfield Co-Coach of the Year: Eric Bridgeland of Whitman and Grey Giovanine of Augustana 1st Team Tahron Harvey (6'3''-G) of Benedictine University of Benedictine Ty Sabin (6'2''-G) of Ripon College of Ripon Joey Flannery of Babson Harrison Blackledge (6'6''-F) of Hope College, MI of Hope Jordan Robinson (6'3''-F) of North Park University of North Park 2nd Team Samuel B... [read more]
Joey Flannery (6'5''-G) blocked a potential game-winning shot with three seconds left and Babson held off Augustana 79-78 to win the 2017 Division III men's basketball championship. As Augustana did in Friday's semifinal, the Vikings opened the game with hot shooting and built a 10-point lead on Dylan Sortillo's three-pointer midway through the first period. Nick Comenale (6'3''-F) sparked a 25-5 run for Babson with a pair of three pointers and a layup and the Beavers took a 41-31 lead in... [read more]
Joey Flannery (6'5''-G) blocked a potential game-winning shot with three seconds left and Babson held off Augustana 79-78 to win the 2017 Division III men's basketball championship. As Augustana did in Friday's semifinal, the Vikings opened the game with hot shooting and built a 10-point lead on Dylan Sortillo's three-pointer midway through the first period. Nick Comenale (6'3''-F) sparked a 25-5 run for Babson with a pair of three pointers and a layup and the Beavers took a 41-31 lead into the half. Babson held Augustana at arm's length for much of the second half and led 71-61 with six minutes to play when the Vikings started their rally. Nolan Ebel (6'1''-G) hit a three-pointer with less than three minutes left to pull the Vikings within four at 79-75. After a couple of empty possessions for both teams, Augustana fouled Babson with 21 seconds left, sending the Beavers to the free throw line for one-and one. They missed the first shot and Augustana grabbed the rebound and found Jacob Johnston for three to cut the lead to 79-78 with 10 seconds left. Babson again missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Vikings gave the ball to Ebel who raced down the floor. Ebel tried to arc a shot over three Babson defenders with three seconds left but Flannery smacked the ball away. Babson grabbed the rebound and was fouled with one second left. Babson missed the one-and-one again but, after an Augustana time out, the Vikings only had time for a long heave down the floor that was deflected away. Flannery finished with 23 points, which gives him 2,620 in his career, good enough for eighth place all-time in Division III. Isaiah Nelsen scored 10 of his 18 points in the second half and Comenale finished with 16 points for Babson. Ebel notched 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Augustana (24-9). Augustana finishes as national runner-up for the second time in three seasons. Babson's championship is the first men's basketball title for the College and the fifth overall in team sports. Babson won three titles in men's soccer in 1975, 1979 and 1980 and a men's hockey championship in 1984. Flannery, who was named Player of the Year before the game, took home the Most Oustanding Player award. The other members of the All-Tournament team were Nelsen, Ebel, Chrishawn Orange (6'2''-G) for Augustana and Daniel Aronowitz (6'5''-G) for Williams. Before the title game, the East All-Stars defeated the West All-Stars 139-116 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Reece's Division III All-Star Game. Courtesy of: d3hoops.com
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