INDIANAPOLIS – This group of Butler seniors have been ranked since the third week of this season, were ranked most of last year, won last year’s Pre-season NIT, won this year’s Great Alaskan Shootout, knocked off Ohio State, Maryland, Purdue, Tennessee, Michigan, Texas Tech, Gonzaga, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Florida State over the last two years, but they never have cut down the nets in the Horizon League Championship.
They can now cross that off of their to-do list since they beat Cleveland State tonight in the Horizon League Championship on their home court 70-55.
Albany, NY - Given the tight nature of the MAAC title race throughout the regular season, one that saw six teams finish within two games of first place, it would have been natural to expect a close final between co-champs Rider and Siena. However, the Saints' lone senior and birthday boy Tay Fisher made sure there would be no such drama. Taking all ten shots from behind the arc and making six, Fisher scored twenty-one points and helped lead Siena (22-10) to a 74-53 win in tonight's MAAC Tournament title game.
ALBANY, N.Y.- To say that things didn't look good from a depth standpoint heading into tonight's MAAC Tournament semifinal for Rider would be an understatement. Both Ryan Thompson and Justin Robinson missed the game due to injury, but Jason Thompson showed the Times Union Center crowd why he's Player of the Year and Matt Griffin and Kamron Warner stepped up to get the Broncs a 76-71 victory over Marist.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The script worked out just like it was planned. The 14th ranked team in the country and #1 seed hosting the semifinal game pounds their opponent into submission to play in the championship game on their court Tuesday night.
Butler became the sixth straight number one seed to advance to the Horizon League Championship game by beating University of Illinois-Chicago 66-50.
This started out pretty well for UIC (18-15) as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead on a layup by Robert Bush and a lob from Stewart Spencer resulting in a thunderous dunk by Jermaine Dailey.
INDIANAPOLIS – When Valparaiso beat Wright State yesterday for the third time this year, three was the magic number. Tonight three was the magic number for Cleveland State as they beat Valpo for the third time this season 78-73 to advance to the Horizon League Championship game.
Cleveland State started the game on fire going up 10-2 at the 17:09 mark. At that point Valpo (21-13) looked like a team was playing for the second time in 24 hours. Their shots were falling a little short and they seemed to be a step behind the Cleveland State players.
ALBANY, N.Y.- On paper, the matchup between conference co-champion Rider and last-place Canisius looked like an absolute snoozer. The Broncs, in sweeping the Golden Griffins, won the two games in blowout fashion. The second of which was a 102-51 whipping that underscored just how bad Canisius has been all year. But a not so funny thing happened: Canisius didn't fold.
When a team doesn’t shoot well, doesn’t rebound well and doesn’t shoot free throws very well there is a pretty good chance they are not going to win that night and that describes Loyola in their loss to UIC in the quarterfinals 60-49.
Loyola (12-19) shot a poor 38.3 percent (18-47), only made 56.3 percent (9-16) and then got killed on the boards 36-20.
INDIANAPOLIS –There is a stick that Valparaiso has used three times this year to beat Wright State with and the Raiders are on the short end of it as they lost their third game in a row to the Crusaders 72-67 in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Championship.
Earlier this year at Wright State, Valpo pulled out a 71-67 win and then last Saturday on ESPN2 Valpo beat the Raiders in overtime 75-73.
Winner gets top seed VCU on Saturday
By Raphielle Johnson