Northwestern nixes BC

Associated PressMarch 20, 2011 

John Shurna scored 20 points with nine rebounds, and Michael Thompson had 22 points and six assists as visiting Northwestern beat Boston College 85-67 on Saturday to advance to the NIT quarterfinals for the first time.

The Wildcats (20-13) made 15 of 36 shots from 3-point range and tied a school record for wins that they set last year. They will play the winner of Monday night's game between Oklahoma State and Washington State winner for the chance to reach the tournament's final four.

"I think Northwestern basketball is getting a lot more respect," Thompson said. "It's the postseason. It's not the NCAA tournament, but we've still got a chance to win a championship. We all just want to continue to play together. A lot of guys are graduating, but we want to stay together as long as we can."

Joe Trapani scored 18 and Josh Southern had 12 for BC (21-13), which ends its first season under coach Steve Donahue.

Northwestern, which has never been in the NCAA tournament, made the NIT for the third straight year and beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee 70-61 in the opening round. BC beat McNeese State 82-64 in the first round.

BC led 14-12 early before Thompson hit a short jumper and then Crawford hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the top of the key. It was 23-all when the Wildcats scored 15 of the next 23 points - six of them by Shurna - to take a seven-point lead.

Northwestern led 56-46 with 13:19 left before scoring nine of the next 11 points to put the game away.

Donahue took his starters out with 1:21 left and BC trailing by 14, giving the crowd a chance to cheer for seniors Trapani, Southern, Biko Paris, Corey Raji and John Cahill.

Also Saturday

More NIT

College of Charleston 64, Cleveland State 56: Donavan Monroe scored 16 points to lead four players in double-figure scoring, and visiting College of Charleston defeated Cleveland State to advance to the NIT quarterfinals for the first time.

Andrew Goudelock and Trent Wiedeman added 13 points each, and Antwaine Wiggins scored 11 for the Cougars (26-10), who held Cleveland State scoreless for nearly 8 minutes in the second half.

Norris Cole led Cleveland State with 18 points but was 6-of-22 from the field and missed all eight of his 3-point attempts. The Vikings (27-9) were 1-of-25 beyond the arc.

Wiggins' 3-pointer with 8:42 remaining gave Charleston the lead for good, 48-46. He added a three-point play to put the Cougars ahead by five, and the Cougars iced it at the free-throw line.

Charleston will play Wichita State or Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals.

NCAA Division III

Thomas 78, Wooster 54: John Nance scored 10 of his 16 points during a game-changing 34-5 burst early in the first half, and St. Thomas beat Wooster at Salem, Va., to win its first Division III men's basketball national championship.

Tommy Hannon also scored 16 points for the Tommies (30-3), whose run gave them a 36-16 lead less than 15 minutes into the game. They never let the margin slip below 10 again en route to their 12th victory in a row.

Ian Franks scored 22 points to lead Wooster (31-3), but the Fighting Scots couldn't muster another dramatic rally.

NCAA D-III women

Amherst 64, Washington-St. Louis 55: Caroline Stedman scored 19 points to lead Amherst past Washington-St. Louis in the NCAA Division III championship at Bloomington, Ill. Dani Hoover led Washington-St. Louis with 13 points.

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