Get me the ball! - Eric Francis
Before the main action resumes Wednesday, the teams eliminated from the main bracket all squared up to get the most out of their tournament commitment. Only a few mid-majors could capitalize on the extra chance for a win.
Tony Benford might finally be figuring it all out. When you have a player as talented as Tony Mitchell, you get him the ball.
That wasn't the case when North Texas lost inexplicably to Division 2 Alabama-Hunstville. Mitchell had just four shot attempts in that game. Against Lamar, he barely could find his shooting touch again, going 6-for-16 from the floor.
But Monday night, Mitchell was 10-for-18 for 21 points and added nine rebounds and four blocks as the Mean Green took out IUPUI, 80-66, in Charlottesville, Va. Roger Franklin added 13 points and 10 boards in the win for North Texas.
Chris Jones finally had something to post on a score sheet too, dishing out eight assists. That is a big improvement over the early season games, and hopefully a sign of things to come for North Texas.
Lyonell Gaines had 17 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for the Jaguars in the loss.
Fordham 70, Penn 68 - Penn handed Drexel its first win of the season over the weekend. It did the same Monday night, dropping a game in the final minute to Fordham. Jeffrey Short but in a layup with a little less than a minute remaining to help steal the game away from the Quakers.
Then it was just a matter of hitting free throws for the Rams, who had previously struggled against Texas State, Pittsburgh and Robert Morris. Branden Frazier had a difficult night shooting the ball on the floor, but was killer from the free throw line, going 9-for-10.
Penn was led by Fran Dougherty and Miles Cartwright, each with 20 points. But outside of those two, there was little to speak of in terms of highlights for the Quakers. It is that lack of depth that looks like it could really come back to haunt Penn once the Ivy season gets underway.
Virginia 63, Lamar 44 - There is not much to say from the Cardinals side. Lamar turned the ball over on nearly 23 percent of its possessions and shot just 32.6 percent from the floor.
Stan Brown scored 11 points in the loss and Nikko Acosta added 10 off the bench for the Cardinals, but that wasn't going to get it done, no matter how much Virginia has struggled this year.
Robert Morris 71, Bowling Green 60 - Velton Jones wasn't exactly the scoring threat that the COlonials are hoping he will eventually be for them, but he got it done on the free throw line. Jones went 9-for-10 from the stripe and finished with 16 points as four Robert Morris players scored in double figures.
A'uston Calhoun led Bowling Green with another strong shooting performance. It didn't have the flair of his 30-point night in the loss to Cleveland State, but the senior was 7-for-12 on his way to 17 points, and added five rebounds and two blocks in the loss. Jordan Crawford went 3-for-6 from 3-point range and added 16 points for the Falcons who fell to 1-3.