2019 NCAA Tournament
Men's Basketball First and Second Rounds
Friday, March 1
Saturday, March 2
Gwynedd-Mercy 73, SUNY-Plattsburgh 65
Williams 86, Husson 60
Williams 90, Gwynedd-Mercy 56
(Williams advances to Sweet 16, NCAA Sectional Round)
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College men's basketball team will continue its quest for a national championship when it hosts the First and Second Rounds of the 2019 NCAA Div. III Tournament Friday and Saturday in Chandler Gymnasium.
The first game Friday at 5:30 p.m. features Gwynedd-Mercy (19-8) vs. SUNY-Plattsburgh (20-6). The Griffins won the Atlantic East Conference Championship while the Cardinals received an at-large berth in to the tournament after The host Ephs (20-16), who received an at-large berth after falling to Amherst in the NESCAC semifinals, will host North Atlantic Conference champion Husson University (17-10) in the second game at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday's winners will meet Sunday at 7 p.m. back in Chandler Gymnasium for the right to advance to the sectional round.
Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for students, senior citizens (aged 62 or older), and children under 18. Kids age 2 and under will be admitted free.
Here's a closer look at the teams:
The Ephs are making their 17th NCAA Tournament appearance and have eight Final Four appearances. Williams has a 47-15 record in NCAA Tournament record. This is the third straight NCAA Tournament appearance for the Ephs.
Williams is ranked 16th/19th in the nation and third in the Northeast conference. Senior Bobby Casey was named to All-NESCAC First Team this season. Casey is third in the NESCAC in points per game and first on the Ephs team averaging 18.5 this season. He is also first in the NESCAC and Williams for assists averaging 4.4 per game. Classmate James Heskett was named to the All-NESCAC Second Team, averaging 17 points per game. He has made 221 three pointers in his career with 156 coming in the last two seasons.
Three players on the Ephs team have made it into the 1000-point club this seasom with Casey at 1,450 points, Heskett at 1,303 points, and Kyle Scadlock at 1,178 points. Scadlock leads the team in rebounds per game with 7.5, while Matt Karpowicz has 6.3 per game.
Husson is making its 20th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles finished 1st in the NAC Championship with a 82-67 win over Thomas. Husson and Williams have met once before in the NCAA Tournament. In 2011, Williams emerged victorious in overtime, 86-83, in a game played in Williamstown.
Sophomores D.J. Bussey and Justin Thompson, along with senior Justin Martin all made the All-Tournament team for the NAC with Martin being named MVP. Martin was also selected to the NAC All-Conference First Team and is averaging 15.1 points per game with 407 points this season and 1048 points in his career.
Martin leads the Eagles in points per game and also leads in rebounds with 9.3 per game. Freshman Justice Kendall leads in both assists per game and steals per game with 4 in the former and 1.8 in the latter. After Martin, the leading scorers are Bussey (13 ppg), Thompson (12 ppg), and Kendall (9.2 ppg).
Husson has only two seniors, Martin and Kyanti Blyden, and six freshmen: Kendall, Brett Cunningham, Trey Sibert, Isiah Hart, Dylan Angel, and Victor Wilson.
The Griffins are making their 6th NCAA tournament appearance this weekend. Gwynedd Mercy captured the 2019 Atlantic East Conference Championship for the first time in program history with a 75-69 victory over Marymount. Senior Courtney Cubbage was the tournament MVP with 30 points in the championship game. Cubbage has 16.9 points per game this season and 1136 career points.
Rich Dunham was named First Team All-Conference. Dunham averages 16.9 points a game, while shooting over 51 percent as a guard from the floor. His 75 steals and 2.8 steals per game average were tops in the Atlantic East and top for the Griffins. The junior is an 83 percent free throw shooter as well as averaging 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists. Cubbage was named Second Team All-Conference and averages 16.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. Clayton Wolfe led the Griffins in rebounds with 7 per game and in assists with 105 this season.
Seniors Cubbage, Wolfe, and Matt Sommers lead the Griffins.
The Cardinals enter their 11th NCAA tournament with a 20-6 overall record in the tournament. The Cardinals are ranked 24th in the nation and second in the East region.
Senior Jonathan Patron was named the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Player of the Year and tabbed to the First Team All-Conference. He leads the SUNYAC and his team in points per game with 23.7 and rebounds per game with 10.7. Chris Middleton was named Second Team All-Conference and averages 13.4 points per game and has a 76.9 percent free throw percentage. Brandon Johnson was tabbed Third Team All-Conference by averaging 13.4 points per game and is first on the team with 4.6 assists per game. Johnson is second in the conference in assists (120), fifth in minutes per game (34.3) and fifth in steals (48).
The senior class of the Cardinals consists of Middleton, Patron, Johnson, Ian Howard, Wayne Shih, and Isaiah Hill.