|Jalen Goodwin connected on two 3-pointers to help propel Wooster to a 70-63 victory in NCAA first-round action.|
WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster got a couple of late 3-pointers from seniors Matt Fegan and Justin Hallowell, the first breaking a 59-59 tie and the second providing a 67-61 cushion, as the Fighting Scots worked hard for a 70-63 victory over Maryville (Tenn.) College in the opening round of the NCAA Div. III Men's Basketball Championship, played at Timken Gymnasium Friday night.
Wooster (25-4) will play Capital University (19-9), which overcame a 34-22 halftime deficit and toppled Randolph-Macon College 68-60 in Friday's earlier game, on Saturday at 7 p.m., for the right to advance to the NCAA's sectional round (Round of 16).
Maryville (18-10) tied the first match-up between the two schools, both nicknamed the Scots, at 59 with 2:34 remaining. A Josh Claytor offensive rebound kept the ensuing possession alive and he sent the ball out to Fegan, who drained his second 3-pointer for a lead that Wooster would not relinquish.
After a Wooster timeout, Doug Thorpe made a key play, picking a Maryville guard and turning the steal into a transition lay-up and 64-59 advantage with just under 2:00 to play.
Milton Stanley converted a runner in the lane to pull Maryville within one possession (64-61) with 1:39 remaining, but then Hallowell knocked down his big 3-pointer, also coming on a pass from Claytor in the post.
Maryville never got any closer than four (67-63) the rest of the way, as Claytor helped extend a Wooster possession with an offensive rebound during the final minute, which then forced the visitors to foul and Hallowell and Fegan combined to make 3-of-4 free throws for the final margin.
Wooster fell behind early, including by 10 points on two occasions at 18-8 and 21-11, then climbed back into it, tying the score for the first time at 27 with 4:11 left in the first half. It was also even at halftime (33-33).
The two teams went back-and-forth for much of the second half. There were nine ties and 14 lead changes overall, almost all of them coming the second 20 minutes.
At one juncture, Maryville held a 57-54 advantage and owned possession, but Wooster came up with a defensive stand and Xavier Brown canned a 3-pointer at the top of the key to tie it at the 4:41 mark. Maryville never gained the lead again.
Wooster's 3-point shooting may have been the difference, as it hit 10 3-pointers to Maryville's four, and another key statistic was the hosts 45-38 advantage on the boards.
Hallowell led all players with 23 points, while Claytor contributed 15 to go with a career-high 12 rebounds. Hallowell was also credited with a double-double, securing 10 boards, all on the defensive end.
Brown tallied an even dozen markers in the scorebook, including 2-of-3 3-pointers, while Fegan produced a game-high four assists.
Stanley scored 21 for Maryville, but it took him 7-of-19 shots to get there as Jalen Goodwin among other Wooster players applied solid defense on him.
Capital stormed back from a 12-point halftime deficit with nine-straight points to start the second and later used stifling defense to beat Randolph-Macon. The Crusaders were still down 55-48 at the midway point of the second, but then held the Yellow Jackets scoreless for almost nine full minutes while taking a 62-55 lead for a 14-0 run en route to the eight-point decision.
Kelly Winters led all players with 20 points and Spencer Niekamp chipped in 16, including 4-of-7 3-pointers, for Capital, while Calvin Croskey paced Randolph-Macon with 19.
When Capital and Wooster last played, it was also in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2009, when this year's seniors were freshmen, Capital prevailed on a buzzer-beater 72-70.