Weekend College Top 10: IUP men, women record rare double
Every Monday, the Tribune-Review will highlight 10 top area college performances from the weekend:
1. Diaz, Lombardi lead Crimson Hawks to PSAC title
Jacobo Diaz had 14 points and 12 rebounds as No. 2 IUP topped Mercyhurst, 56-49, on Sunday for the 10th conference championship in school history. Dante Lombardi (Kiski School) was named tournament MVP after averaging 19 points, including a 33-point performance in Saturday’s 90-69 semifinal victory over West Chester. IUP (29-2) held Mercyhurst to 29.3 percent (17 of 58) shooting for the game, and the 49 points were the third fewest scored in a PSAC title game since 1961. With the Crimson Hawks women also winning Sunday, IUP became the first school to sweep the titles since Millersville in 1987. The Crimson Hawks men received the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division II Tournament Atlantic Regional and will host the eight-team bracket. IUP faces eighth-seeded West Chester (22-8) on Saturday.
2. IUP women storm back for PSAC title
Tournament MVP Carolyn Appleby (Greensburg Central Catholic) scored 26 points, and the No. 14 Crimson Hawks outscored Kutztown, 23-7, in the third quarter en route to a 72-57 victory Sunday. Lauren Wolosik (North Catholic), who recorded her program-record 500th career assist in Saturday’s semifinal victory over Bloomsburg, added 12 points, five assists, six rebounds in the championship game. IUP earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament and received the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Regional, which will be hosted by top-seeded Glenville State (W.Va.). The Crimson Hawks (26-3) open against sixth-seeded Bowie State (22-5) on Friday.
3. Pitt’s Phillippi shines at ACC championships
Micky Phillippi (Derry) earned ACC Most Valuable Wrestler after winning the 133-pound title at the league championships Saturday at Virginia Tech. He became just the second Pitt wrestler to receive the honor, joining Tyler Wilps (2015). Heavyweight Demetrius Thomas also won an ACC title, and he and Phillippi will be joined at the NCAA championships by Bethel Park product Nino Bonaccorsi (second place, 184) and Taleb Rahmani (second, 157). The championships are March 21-23 at PPG Paints Arena.
4. Penn State wrestling cruises to Big Ten crown
Kittanning graduate Jason Nolf won the title at 157 pounds and earned Co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Year with teammate Bo Nickal — the 197-pound champion — to help the Nittany Lions to the team title at the conference championships Sunday in Minneapolis. Top-ranked Nolf defeated second-ranked Tyler Berger of Nebraska, 12-4, in a major decision for the title. Mark Hall (174) and Anthony Cassar (285) were Penn State’s other first-place finishers. Nine wrestlers qualified for the NCAA championships, including Vincenzo Joseph (Central Catholic), who suffered his first loss of the season in the 165-pound final.
5. Pitt-Johnstown’s Eddins repeats as national champion
Chris Eddins (Greensburg Salem) defeated Tiffin’s Trey Grine, 7-2, in the 149-pound final to win his second straight title at the NCAA Division II championships Saturday in Cleveland. The Mountain Cats placed sixth in the 55-team field with 68.5 points.
6. Allegheny runner Forner makes history with national title
Emily Forner (Beaver) took first in the 3,000 at the NCAA Division III indoor track and field championships Saturday in Boston, becoming the first women’s individual winner in Gators history. Her time of 9 minutes, 39.56 seconds beat the field by more than 6 seconds.
7. RMU men’s hockey finishes 1st-round sweep
Freshman Nick Lalonde scored the tiebreaking goal with six minutes left, lifting the Colonials past Holy Cross, 3-2, in Game 2 of their Atlantic Hockey playoff series Saturday. Alex Tonge and Daniel Mantenuto also scored for eighth-seeded Robert Morris (14-20-2), which has won four straight. The Colonials won the first game, 1-0, on Friday. Nick Prkusic scored in the second period, and Francis Marotte had 30 saves. Ninth-seeded Holy Cross finished 10-21-5.
8. Penn State men’s hockey advances to Big Ten semifinals
Liam Folkes scored 10 minutes, 50 seconds into overtime, propelling the Nittany Lions past Wisconsin, 4-3, in Game 3 of the conference quarterfinals Sunday. Folkes had two goals and an assist, and Peyton Jones made 36 saves for Penn State. The Nittany Lions (21-14-2) will face top-seeded Ohio State this weekend.
9. Slippery Rock pitcher sets saves record
Wyatt Daugherty (Butler) earned his school-record 17th career save, capping a 5-4 victory in 12 innings over Franklin Pierce on Sunday in Cary, N.C. He broke the old mark held by John Kovalik (2011-14). Ray Scala drove in the winning run. It was the 999th career victory for coach Jeff Messer, who will look to become the 18th coach in NCAA Division II history to win 1,000 games when The Rock faces Saint Thomas Aquinas on Tuesday.
10. Cal (Pa.) women earn NCAA Tournament bid
The Vulcans lost to Kutztown, 67-62, in the PSAC semifinals Saturday but received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. Cal (24-5) is seeded fourth in the Atlantic Regional and opens against fifth-seeded Charleston (W.Va.) (25-6) on Friday. Top-seeded Glenville State will host the regional.
Jeff Vella is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .