Saturday women: Finished before February

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Mikaela Reese and DeSales are once again head-and-shoulders above their conference opponents.
DeSales athletics file photo by Stephanie Graffin

The conference races in the MAC Freedom and MIAA feel like they are finished after No. 20 DeSales swept Arcadia and No. 7 Hope extended its dominance of archrival Calvin. Elsewhere, Pacific edged no. 22 Whitman and No. 24 Carroll ended Millikin’s long home hitting streak.

No. 20 DeSales all-but-clinched the top spot in the MAC Freedom playoffs by beating second-place Arcadia for the second time this year, this time by a score of 65-44.

Arcadia fared better than in the first meeting between these teams when DeSales had a 26-5 lead after one quarter. This time, the Knights only trailed the Bulldogs by three after one period. But DeSales held Arcadia to seven points in the second quarter and then broke the game open in the third quarter.

Mikaela Reese and Lindsey Welch posted double-doubles for DeSales (17-2, 8-0 MACF). Mara Weaver scored 16 points for Arcadia (17-2, 6-2 MACF). The teams’ starters scored all but two points.

The 137th game in the Rivalry between Hope and Calvin was closer than recent meetings, but it had the same result as the last 17 games– No. 7 Hope defeated Calvin, 60-57. Calvin rallied to within three of the Flying Dutch with 25 seconds left, but Hope Keegan Kaiser blocked the Knights’ would-be game-tying and preserved the victory.

Sidney Vis was the only Flying Dutchman to score double digits with 16 points, but eight other players also scored for Hope (19-1, 8-0 MIAA), which now has a three-game lead in the conference standings with five to play .

Ripon continues to lap the field in the MWC, following the Red Hawks’ 61-46 home win over Cornell. Ella Ten Pas and Bonnie Jensen combined for 42 points, 19 rebounds, and seven assists for Ripon (13-6, 10-0 MWC), which has a four-game lead over the Rams and Knox.

The CCIW title race is not complete, but the meetings between the top three contenders are.

No. 24 Carroll defeated No. 16 Millikin, 80-75, to snap the Big Blue’s 21-game home winning streak and sweep the regular season series. Oliva Rangel scored 30 points and Emilie Wizner added 25 more for Carroll (15-4, 8-2 CCIW). Elyce Knudsen became Millikin’s all-time scoring leader, pouring in 38 points and passing Lindsay Ippel who scored 2,017 in her career.

No. 11 Illinois Wesleyan cruised past Augustana, 85-59, and remains a half-game ahead of Carroll in the CCIW standings. IWU already swept the season series from the Pioneers, who have now swept Millikin, which completed its sweep of Illinois Wesleyan on Wednesday night. If the three teams win out, the Big Blue’s loss to North Central (Ill.) would effectively be the tie breaker and give the top seed to Illinois Wesleyan.

Pacific edged no. 22 Whitman, 54-52, and stayed tied with Willamette atop the NWC standings.

The Boxers led 52-48 with 40 seconds left when Whitman’s Carly Martin scored a layup that cut Pacific’s lead in half. The Boxers missed two free throws on their next possession, Whitman grabbed the defensive rebound and Jordan Leith’s layup knotted the score at 52. The Boxers inbounded the ball to Brilie Kovaloff who was fouled on the fast break. She sank both free throws and Whitman missed her final shot.

Emily Holsan paced Pacific (13-5, 9-1 NWC) with 17 points. Martin scored 18 points for Whitman (14-5, 6-4) which now sits in fourth place in the conference.

No. 25 Bates battled past Williams in Chandler Gymnasium, 86-70, and kept pace with Bowdoin in the NESCAC standings. The Bobcats (18-2, 6-0 NESCAC) led wire-to-wire on the strength of Elsa Daulerio’s 22-point performance.

The other conference games were much closer. Amherst edged Trinity (Conn.), 68-66, on Corey Barach’s last-minute three-pointer in double overtime. Middlebury did the Mammoths one better, outlasting Tufts, 90-82, in triple overtime.

After losing on Wednesday night, both ranked WIAC teams used tough defense to get back on track with victories.

No. 4 UW-Whitewater turned 30 UW-Eau Claire turnovers into 25 points and blew past the Blugolds, 66-37. Every Warhawk starter had at least three steals, and All-American Aleah Grundahl tallied 16 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes.

No. 18 UW-Oshkosh held UW-Stout to 18 first-half points and had a 17-4 scoring advantage from the foul line in a 58-47 victory. Kayce Vaile had 10 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three blocks for the Titans, who remain one game back of UW-Whitewater heading into Wednesday’s showdown with the Warhawks.

Tova Gelb scored a career-high 26 points and Vassar kept rolling through the Liberty League with an 81-59 win over St. Lawrence. The Brewers (18-1. 12-0 LL) outscored the Saints 46-26 in the paint en route to their 17th straight victory.

The NEWMAC still has a five-way tie for first place with Smith, Coast Guard, MIT, Springfield and Clark all holding 4-1 conference records. Clark was the only team to have a close game on Saturday, as the Cougars held off Emerson, 62-60.

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