Saturday men: Comets streak past Trine

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Ryan Bart scored 22 points off the bench, including shooting 4-for-7 from three-point range, as Olivet posted a huge win.
Olivet athletics photo by Haley Oosterhouse

The final Saturdays of the Division III season are often Senior Days, and sometimes, it can get a little wild. That’s what it was like today, as 4-19 Olivet beat No. 2 Trine, Haverford nearly pulled off a huge upset, Virginia Wesleyan beat Guilford, Drew knocked off Catholic and Western Conn. won at Keene.

It was a mismatch on paper, but the outcome was one of the most shocking upsets of the Division III men’s basketball season, as Olivet shot 59.6 percent from the floor and held Trine to 4-for-19 shooting from beyond the arc in an 87 -75 win, perhaps the biggest upset win in Olivet men’s basketball history.

“For this to happen on our senior day is so special,” said Olivet coach Sam Hargraves. “Everything those five have gone through in trying to create a sustainable culture hasn’t been easy. But they didn’t quit. They kept working. I’m so happy for them. We’ve played much better than our record this year . Hopefully we can continue to build some momentum until we’re done with opportunities.”

Olivet blew open what had been a tie game in the second half, taking it from 48-48 to 75-59. The Thunder got as close as seven in the final minute, but Olivet went 5-for-6 from the foul line to seal the win. Ryan Bart came off the bench to match his career high with 22 points.

Trine (21-2, 11-1 MIAA) saw its winning streak snapped at 13 games. Olivet improved to 4-19, 2-10 in conference play.

No. 6 Guilford came back to the floor after a week off, and fell on the road at Virginia Wesleyan, 68-62. The second half was deadlocked, neither team able to gain a sizable advantage, and with 7:55 left, GC and VWU were tied at 48. The Marlins (17-6, 8-6 ODAC) stayed hot from beyond the arc, en route to a seven-point lead (59-52) with under three minutes left. The Quakers found a late spark in the thirty seconds, with Gabe Proctor drawing a shooting foul from beyond the arc. Three consecutive free throws brought Virginia Wesleyan’s lead to just four (66-62), but the deficit was too large to overcome, as Guilford (20-3, 11-3) dropped its third game of the season, 68-62.

Octavio Brito scored 19 second half points and Keene State cut a 17-point second-half deficit all the way down to three points, but the No. 7-ranked Owls could not get a shot to go down at the buzzer and they fell to the Western Connecticut Colonials, 76-73. The loss snaps a 36-game win streak for Keene State in Little East Conference play, one which began after a three-point loss at Mass-Dartmouth two years and one day earlier, on Feb. 9, 2022. Jaheim Young scored a team-high 17 for Western Connecticut, which improved to 20-4, 13-2 in LEC play. WestConn (20-4, 13-2 Little East) ballooned the lead to its largest of the game when Keeshawn Jones made a three-pointer to make it 60-43 with 11:12 left. However, the Owls would not go down without a fight. They gradually chipped away at the deficit and would shrink it to 70-67 when Brito drained a free throw with 2:36 remaining. Hunter netted another layup, cutting it to 75-73 with 22 seconds left before Gallon hit one of two foul shots to make it 76-73 with 0:04 to play. The Owls came out of a timeout and hoisted a long three-point attempt from the top of the arc that clanked off the iron as time expired.

For the second time this season Marietta pushed No. 1 ranked John Carroll to the brink only to fall short in the end. The Blue Streaks held on for an 82-77 win. Marietta moves to 14-9 overall and 8-8 in the OAC, while John Carroll improves to 22-1, 16-0. Luke Chicone scored a game-high 26 points for the Blue Streaks. Luke Frazier buried four three-pointers and finished with 22 points. JCU led by as many as 25 points, and by 19 at halftime, but Marietta chipped away at the lead and tied the game at 69 with 5:22 left. John Carroll scored the next eight to regain the lead, and Marietta could not overcome the deficit.

Drew shot a blazing 60.7% from the field and 57.6% (19-33) from beyond the arc while nailing the fourth-most three-pointers in program history as the Rangers won at No. 15 Catholic 96-81. The loss is just the third for Catholic on the season, while Drew improved to 18-5, 11-5 in the Landmark Conference. Catholic fell to 20-3, 14-2. The Rangers trailed just once on the evening – when it was 2-0 – and used an early 11-0 run to jump to a 24-10 lead with 12:10 left in the opening half. Papie Roberts erupted for a career-high 24 points and dished out five assists while shooting a red-hot 6-for-7 from 3-point territory for Drew.

No. 20 Johns Hopkins had to hold off an upset-minded Haverford squad, 70-67, as the Blue Jays edged a team which is just 4-19 overall and 1-15 in the Centennial Conference. Trailing 68-61 after a Jeb Williams layup with 2:05 to play, the host Fords got four straight points from Gabriel Franklin and a Gaven Marr jumper to cut the deficit to just one with 32 seconds on the clock. The teams traded empty possessions before sophomore Charlie Jackson drained a pair of free throws to put the Blue Jays (18-5, 14-2) up 70-67 with 11 seconds to play. As it turns out that was the final points of the game as JHU held on for the win.

Booty Butler hit a fallaway jumper from the elbow with two seconds left to lift Rowan to a 69-67 win at Rutgers-Newark. The win, which is the seventh in a row for the No. 25 Profs, lifts them to 19-5 overall, and 13-4 in the NJAC. Rowan leads Stockton by one game for the top spot in the NJAC with one game remaining. Marcellus Ross scored a game-high 19 points, while Butler added 13.

Illinois Wesleyan clinched the No. 1 seed in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin men’s basketball tournament, as the Titans won 70-58 at Carthage. Williams pulled in a long rebound and raced down the floor for a tough layup to break a 46-46 tie with eight minutes to play. A pair of mid-range jumpers from Marko Anderson and a three-pointer from Karlo Colak powered the Titans (16-7, 12-2 CCIW) ahead by seven, 57-50, to force a Carthage timeout with 4:27 to play. . The Firebirds (15-8, 9-5) converted a pair of free throws out of the timeout, before Yoder drew a double team on a drive and kicked to Hakim Williams for a three-ball from the top of the key. Leading 60-54 with just over two minutes to play, Williams converted a driving layup to extend the cushion to eight. Luke Yoder then knocked down a pair of free throws to give IWU a double-digit advantage as IWU escaped with the win.

Cade Tackmier scored 18 points, all of them after halftime, as Ripon pulled into the fourth and final playoff spot in the Midwest Conference with an 83-75 overtime win at Monmouth. The win leaves the Red Hawks at 7-7 in the conference after an 0-4 start. Monmouth forced overtime on a deep three-pointer by Kyle Taylor with 0.8 seconds left in regulation, but Ripon wasted little time grabbing the advantage in the free period, never trailing in the final five minutes and picking up the crucial road win. The Red Hawks (9-14, 7-7) shot just 25% from the floor in the first half, but shot 51% in the second half and overtime combined. There are two games left in the MWC schedule.

Bard tied the record for the most wins in program history, as the Raptors clawed their way past Hobart, 76-59. Elliot Harris scored a game-high 19 points and Lazaros Panagiotounis added 16 off the bench as Bard improved to 13-10, 8-8 in the Liberty League. Bard’s win was just the third in 25 meetings with the Statesmen since Bard joined the Liberty League, and the Raptos went 13-13 in 2018-19, the only other time the program has ever won as many games.

UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout met for the last time in Eau Claire’s Zorn Arena in the “War on 94” rivalry and it came down to a nailbiting finish as the homestanding Blugolds defeated the Blue Devils 81-77. Eau Claire (10-13, 3-9 WIAC) led for 36 minutes, but never by more than seven points as the Blue Devils (10-13, 5-7) kept hitting key shots to stay within striking distance. Cade Hall led all scorers with 33 points and Carter Huschka added 28 for the Blugolds, while Brody Fox, the nation’s No. 2 scorer on the season, led Stout with 28, shooting 11-for-23 from the floor. Zorn Arena was built in 1952, and Eau Claire has a new facility coming next season.

Dean played his fifth overtime period of the week, as the Bulldogs defeated Rivier 104-103 in triple overtime on Saturday afternoon. Dean (8-15, 4-8 GNAC) led 103-100 with less than a minute to play in the third extra period. Odaris Cade made a step-back three-pointer to pull Rivier (13-10, 5-8) even with 31 seconds to go. After an AJ Weston last second driving effort went wide, Jayden Madise was fouled on his putback attempt with 0.6 seconds on the clock. He converted the second free throw attempt for the 104-103 win. Weston paced the Bulldogs with 32 points. He added seven rebounds, four assists and went 12-for-12 from the free throw line. Dean won at Mitchell on Wednesday night, winning 104-102 in double overtime. The two overtime wins came after a seven-game losing streak.

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