Erie’s Cox part of D-III champs
Freshman Emily Cox hit three 3-pointers and scored nine points as Rock Valley College won its fourth NJCAA Division III national championship in 6 years with a 57-49 overtime win over Roxbury on Saturday in Utica, N.Y.
Rock Valley (33-2), which previously won titles in 2012, 2013 and 2015, also got 13 points from former Dakota star Jaycee Cleaver, and was led by tournament MVP Tierra McGowan’s 20 points and 22 rebounds.
Augie falls in D-III title game
Nolan Ebel’s layup was blocked with 2,9 seconds left as Augustana lost to Babson 79-78 in the NCAA Division II national championship game Saturday in Salem, Va.
Ebel finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Augie (24-9), which lost in the title game for the second time in 3 years. Erie grad Jacob Johnston added 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting for the Vikings, who shot 55.2 percent in the second half and 46.6 percent for the game.
Joey Flannery had 23 points, six rbeounds and seven assists, and also blocked Ebel’s last layup to lead Babson (31-2) to its first national title.
Four Naismith finalists announced
Villanova’s Josh Hart, Kansas’ Frank Mason III, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball are the finalists for the Naismith Trophy as the top player in men’s college basketball.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the finalists Sunday. They were chosen by a national voting panel made up of journalists, current and former head coaches, former Naismith winners, and conference commissioners.
Fans can vote for the winner Monday through March 31 at www.naismithtrophy.com/vote. The fan vote will account for 5 percent of the total vote. The winner will be announced April 2.
Washington hires Syracuse assistant
Washington has moved quickly in filling its basketball coaching vacancy, hiring longtime Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins on Sunday – just 4 days after Lorenzo Romar was fired following 15 seasons at his alma mater and the Huskies’ sixth straight season in missing the NCAA Tournament.
Hopkins is returning to the West Coast, having grown up in the Los Angeles area. He is also leaving the only school he’s ever really known. Hopkins played at Syracuse from 1989-93, returned to the staff there in 1996, and was named successor to Jim Boeheim in June 2015.
Late eagle lifts Leishman
Marc Leishman holed a 50-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole to take the lead, and he stayed there with two tough pars to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational and earn a trip to the Masters.
Leishman fired a 3-under 69 Sunday in Orlando.
Kevin Kisner had a three-shot lead at the turn, but he didn’t make a birdie over his final 11 holes. Rory McIlroy made a late charge and tied for the lead with a wild birdie around a tree and over the water on the 16th hole, only to three-putt the final hole from 30 feet.