College hoop roundup: NCAA D-III tourney update

By: Mike Whaley

Hinsdale junior Angelina Nardolillo and the No. 3 Rhode Island College women’s team remain unbeaten after winning their first- and second-round NCAA Division III tournament games in their home gym. They’ll have more home cooking this weekend in the sectional as they host three teams Friday and Saturday.

The Anchorwomen (29-0) beat St. Joseph’s (Maine), 56-37, and St. John Fisher, 66-43, to advance to the Sweet 16. They meet No. 19 Washington & Lee (28-2) Friday night at 8 p.m., after the 5:30 p.m. game between Bates College (24-5) and No. 7 Wartburg (27-2). The two winners play Saturday in the Elite Eight game at 7:30 p.m. with the winner earning a berth to the NCAA Final Four in Columbus, Ohio, March 14-16. RIC is looking to return to the final four for the second year in a row.

Nardolillo had strong games in both wins. In the St. Joe’s victory, she had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while vs. St. John Fisher she totaled a team-high 19 points and pulled down nine boards. 

The final score of both games were deceptive. Against St. Joe’s, RIC jumped out to a 24-7 lead after the first quarter, but that lead evaporated. The Monks closed the gap to 32-28 in the second half before the Anchorwomen were able to pull away.

Versus St. John Fisher, RIC led by just 27-24 at the half, but used a 17-7 run in the third quarter to build a 44-31 lead and were not challenged from there.

The other N.H. connected game of interest involves the Keene State College men, the only N.H. team to qualify for either tournament. The Owls (26-3) hosted and won their first two games over Marymount (Va.), 82-76, and Eastern, 109-85. In the Marymount win, KSC got big games from Jeff Hunter (22 points, 16 rebounds) and Octavio Brito (22 points, 8 boards), while Spencer Aronsonand Nate Siow added 15 and 14 points, respectively.

In the second round, the Owls were led by Brito’s career-high 40 points, and 20 points and 14 boards from Hunter.

No. 5 KSC will play in the Sweet 16 in Greensboro, N.C., vs. No. 7 Guilford (24-4) Friday at 7:15 p.m. The first game is between No. 21 Williams and No. 23 Christopher Newport at 4:15 p.m. The two winners play Saturday at 7:15 p.m. for the right to advance to the final four in Fort Wayne, Indiana, March 14-16.