NCAA Div. III Men's Basketball First Round, Williams College, Williamstown, MA – Becker 80, Scranton 73.
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Becker College Hawks (24-4) made the most of their first NCAA Tournament game overcoming a six-point halftime deficit powering past Scranton University (20-6), 80-73, with a rugged inside game in the game's final 20 minutes.
Rajai Leggett posted a double-double for the Hawks with 20 points (14 in the second half) and 11 rebounds. Terrance Favors added 17 for the Hawks and Trae Jacobs netted 15 , while Moody Doherty tallied 12 in the Hawks' historic win.
Scranton was led by Zach Ashworth and Luke Hawk who both scored 19. Matt Swaback added 13 and Tim Lavelle scored 11.
Scranton opened up a six-point lead at the end of the first half on 4-4 shooting by Matt Swaback from beyond the arc. Swaback a 35% shooter from beyond the arc hit from all sides of the court and the top of the key in leading the Royals with 12 points. Scranton's top scorer Zach Ashworth added nine and added three assists.
Leading Becker in the opening session was Terence Favors who also netted a dozen. Favors' 12 came on 5 of 7 from the field and 2-3 from the line.
Rajai Leggett of led all players with seven boards in the opening 20 minutes helping the Becker Hawks to a 21-18 lead on the glass.
Swaback led the Royals with five rebounds.
Scranton opened the second half with a three from the left side by Luke Hawk and the Royals quickly had a nine point lead, 43-34.
Travis Farrell netted a long three at 14:56 off a feed by Matt Swaback and the Scranton lead had grown to 14, 56-42.
A Trae Jacobs dunk excited the Becker crowd and cut the Scranton lead to 12 with 13:28 left.
A Luke Hawk layup with 8:31 left gave Scranton an 8-point lead, but Becker then went to work inside with Trae Jacobs owning the paint.
Two Jacobs buckets inside cut the Scranton lead to four with 6:49 to play. On the next possession by Scranton Becker's Markus Wright made a steal and dunked the ball to make it 69-67 Scranton with 6:20 left.
Becker's Moody Doherty tallied a layup with 3:16 left and the Scranton lead was down to just one, 72-71.
With 2:43 left Becker's Rajai Leggett was fouled inside and he toed the line with his team down one. Leggett made both free throws and the Hawks took the lead 73-72. It was the first lead for the Hawks since 12:53 of the first half when Scranton tied the game at 10 on a layin by Edmund O'Connell.
Leggett then hit a jumper with 1:57 left to give the Hawks a three-point lead 75-72. Just 15 seconds later Moody Doherty gave the Hawks a five-point lead with an emphatic dunk off a steal.
Then Terrance Favors, Trae Jacobs, and Ricky Clark and Jacobs again hit one of two free throws to ice the game.
Becker owned the glass in the contest snaring 44 caroms to just 31 for the Royals. Scranton also had trouble maintaining possession of the ball committing 23 turnovers, while Becker had 14 miscues.
Scranton hit 14 of 25 threes in the game and shot 45% from the floor. Becker, with its strong inside game connected on 49% of their shots (34-71). Becker out scored the royals 22-14 in the paint.
Becker advances to tomorrow's Second Round game versus the winner of the 7:30 p.m. game between Williams and Husson University.
NOTES: The Scranton Royals were making their 23rd appearance in the NCAA Tourney and fifth under 10-year head coach Carl Danzig… Scranton has now lost five straight NCAA opening round games, last winning 77-75 over Ursinus in 2003… Scranton senior guard Zach Ashworth is two-time Landmark Conference Player of the Year (2010, 2011)… The Royals entered the NCAA Tourney having won the 2011 Landmark Conference Tournament… Becker an NCAA member since 1998 was making its first appearance in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tourney… Becker took top honors in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) as they finished with a perfect 14-0 conference record… The Hawks' head coach Brian Gorman, was named the NECC Men's Basketball Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.... Becker earned an At-Large bid after being upset by Elms in the NECC Tournament.