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Monday, April 8, 2013
ATLANTA — Allen Williamson had 18 points and Amherst got plenty of scoring from across its deep and balanced lineup, pulling away late to beat Mary Hardin-Baylor 87-70 on Sunday and win its second Division III national championship.
Connor Green and national player of the year Aaron Toomey scored 16 points each, and Willy Workman had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lord Jeffs (30-2), who were making their first appearance in the national championship game since 2008.
The victory over the Crusaders (27-6) pushed Amherst’s season-ending win streak to a school-record 24 games, and matched the school record for wins in a season, set by the 2007 team that won the Massachusetts school’s only other national championship.
Thomas Orr had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Mary Hardin-Baylor, which has never won an NCAA team championship in any sport. Brian Todd added 17 points and James Allen finished with 15.
The Division III title game is usually played in Salem, Va., but it was moved to Philips Arena this season as part of the NCAA’s 75th anniversary of March Madness.
The Lord Jeffs never trailed in the first half, getting easy jump shots with superior ball movement and scoring the first 10 points. They kept hitting from around the perimeter, too, and pushed their lead to 29-16 on a basket by Ben Pollack with about 10 minutes left.
Orr did most of the damage with 10 first-half points, including a thunderous dunk to finish off a fast break that left the rim, backboard and stanchion shaking back and forth.
Drury 74, Metro State 73
ATLANTA — Alex Hall sank two free throws with 22.8 seconds remaining to help Drury rally from a 17-point deficit to beat Metro State and win the Division II national championship on Sunday.
Metro State’s Mitch McCarron and Brandon Jefferson missed shots in the final seconds.
As Metro State coach Derrick Clark slammed the scorer’s table in frustration, Drury’s players converged in a wild midcourt celebration and soon were covered in confetti at Phillips Arena.
Drury (31-4), from Springfield, Mo., closed the season with 23 straight wins to win its first championship.
Hall led the Panthers with 21 points. Brandon Lockhart had 14 and Drake Patterson had 12.
Metro State (32-3) had 17 steals but appeared to tire in the closing minutes as it relied on its starters for all its points. Jefferson led the Roadrunners with 19 points. McCarron added 16 points, eight rebounds and seven steals.
No. 5 Louisville 64, No. 2 California 57
NEW ORLEANS — Antonita Slaughter scored 18 points on six 3-pointers and Louisville clawed back from a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat California and advance to the NCAA championship game.
Bria Smith scored 17 on 6 of 7 shooting for the Cardinals (29-8), who were a No. 5 seed and became the first team seeded worse than fourth to win a Final Four game. They join Louisville’s men’s team in playing for a national championship. The men play tonight and the women will face Connecticut on Tuesday night.
Layshia Clarendon scored 17 for Cal (32-4), which had won the Spokane Region as a second seed. Gennifer Brandon added 12 for the Golden Bears and Brittany Boyd added 10 points.
It was the third straight upset for Louisville, which had to beat defending national champion Baylor and Southeastern Conference power Tennessee just to get to New Orleans.
“No one expects us to be here,” Slaughter said. “No one expects us to be in the championship game. Just come together as a team and win as a team.”
Shoni Schimmel, who had been one of the stars of the tournament, struggled early for Louisville, but finished with 10 points, including a clutch transition pull-up that gave Louisville a 57-54 lead with 2:06 left.
Clarendon responded with a left win 3 of her own to tie it, but Sara Hammond, playing with four fouls for the last 7:20, gave the Cardinals the lead for good with a string move inside as she was fouled.
No. 1 UConn 83, No. 1 Notre Dame 65
NEW ORLEANS — Breanna Stewart scored 29 points to help UConn beat Notre Dame to advance to the NCAA championship game.
The Huskies will face Louisville in the title game Tuesday night in an all-Big East final. The Cardinals rallied to beat California 64-57 in the earlier semifinal. UConn will be going for its eighth national championship to match Tennessee for the most in women’s basketball history.
The Huskies (34-4) and Irish had played three thrilling games this season, with Notre Dame coming out on top by margins of one point, two points and in triple overtime. This one wasn’t as close, ending the brilliant career of Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins.
UConn built a 10-point halftime lead and Notre Dame (35-2) could only get within six in the second half, ending the Irish’s school record 30-game winning streak.
FBI eyes possible extortion at Rutgers
A person familiar with the situation tells the Associated Press that the FBI is investigating whether a former employee of the Rutgers basketball program tried to extort the university.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation has not been officially announced. Investigators are interested in Eric Murdock, a central figure in the scandal that has led to the firing of basketball coach Mike Rice and resignation of athletic director Tim Pernetti.
The investigation was first reported by The New York Times.
Murdock made public a video that showed Rice kicking and shoving players and spewing anti-gay slurs at them during practice.
His lawyer had sent a letter to university officials in December asking for a $950,000 settlement.
Last week, Murdock filed a lawsuit against the school, contending he was fired in July 2012 for being a whistleblower against Rice.
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