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Conference Freshman of the Year

By John Addyman

   WAYNE COUNTY (Mar 9 11) – The University of Buffalo opened the Mid-American Conference tournament at home last night with a 64-50 win over the Chippewas of Central Michigan.
   The eighth-seeded Bulls had a 30-26 margin at halftime, a lead they kept on building over the ninth-seeded Chippewas. Freshman phenom Javon McCrea (Newark), who averages 11 points a game for Buffalo, was held scoreless in 15 minutes on the floor. He grabbed three rebounds, blocked two shots and made an assist.
   Next up for the Bulls is a quarterfinals meeting with top-seeded Kent State on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Cleveland. Those teams met two weeks ago and the Bulls lost, 72-69 – at Kent State. Should be a good game. The top four seeds in the MAC had first-round byes, so Kent will be rested for Buffalo.
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   Canisius College saw its basketball season end in the first round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament in Bridgeport, CT on Saturday with a 79-64 loss to Rider University.
   Senior forward Greg Logins (Sodus/Kent School), who scored his 1,000th point for the Golden Griffins earlier this season, had 12 points, six rebounds and two assists in the game. He finished this season with 353 points scored  and 181 rebounds – both second on the team.
   Canisius bows out with a 15-15 record.
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   Virginia Tech finished what has to be a disappointing season by losing in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament to fifth-seeded Georgia Tech, 81-58.
    Especially difficult to swallow is the offensive collapse of the last six weeks. The Hokies scored just 14 points in the first half against tech, making the outcome a foregone conclusion early. Sophomore guard Alyssa Fenyn (Newark) had two points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal in the loss. Tech packs up the jerseys with an 11-19 record.
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Jackie Loson
Goals for Canisius
   The Lady Raiders of Roberts Wesleyan College have decided to contest the Division I national championship of the National Christian College Athletic Association, starting next week at Grace College in Indiana. Two members of the team, senior forward Brittany McMillon (Lyons) and sophomore Marissa Bunce (Newark) have received post-season American Mideast Conference honors (see “Honors” below). 
   Canisius College senior midfielder Jackie Loson (Newark) scored the third goal for the Golden Griffins on Monday in a game at Ohio State. Unfortunately, by the time Jackie got the ball in the net, the Buckeyes had a 13-2 lead and went on to win, 23-7. The Griffs are 1-3.
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   Keuka College won its season opener on Saturday, besting Shenandoah College, 11-5. Storm sophomore defender Scott Welch (Pal-Mac) picked up one ground ball and caused a turnover in the win.
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   RIT sophomore goalie Katelyn Crane (Pal-Mac) stopped eight Mary Washington College shots, but 17 more got past her and the Tigers absorbed a 17-9 loss on Friday, their second in as many tries.
   College of Saint Rose junior pitcher Sarah Arbogast (Newark) was bust on Monday as the Golden Knights opened their season with a doubleheader against Mansfield University, playing on the Legends Way Field in Clermont, FL.
   The Knights lost both games. In the opener, Sarah came on in relief of starter Nicole Traylor, who yielded five runs on seven hits. Sarah pitched two ad a third innings, allowing four runs on three hits, striking out one and walking one. The Knights lose, 9-0, with Traylor picking up the loss.
   In the second game, Sarah took over for starter Mikayla Wells in the fourth inning, pitching two and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, and taking the loss in a 9-8 defeat.  
   Alfred State College finished 11th in the men’s competition at the NJCAA National swimming and diving championships at the Flickenger Center in Buffalo. Sophomore Ethan Wright (Clyde-Savannah) swam the first leg of the eighth-place 200 free relay (1:37.02) and the third leg of the 10th-place 400 medley relay (4:12.16). He also ended up 15th in the 100 butterfly (57.03) and 16th in the 200 fly (2:19.84).
   Monroe County College swimmers were fourth (men) and fifth (women) at the NJCAA tourney. The guys earned the Al Zamsky Non-Scholarship Division Championship while the women too home the Spyke Johnson Non-Scholarship Division title – both awards are given to the highest-scoring non-scholarship teams at the national meet.
   Sophomore Leslie Flannery (Newark) helped set an MCC and regional records in the 200 free relay (1:39.58).
   Le Moyne College is still looking for its first win in the spring tennis season after getting bumped hard by Roberts Wesleyan on Saturday, 8-1. Dolphin sophomore Rebecca Black (Pal-Mac) lost to Wesleyan’s Meghan Wheeler at second singles, (6-2, 6-2), then teamed with Caroline Tisdell to lose to Wesleyan’s Kristen Hemingway and Wheeler, 8-3.
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   Methodist University took a tight, 5-4 win over Swarthmore on Monday. Monarch sophomore Stacey Brooks (Newark) and partner Laura Baker defeated Aliya Padamsee and Brooke Wilkins in third doubles, 8-1, to contribute to the win. Methodist is 6-1 in dual meets this season.
   Ithaca College junior Kailee Spusta (Pal-Mac) wrested a sixth place in floor exercises (9.700) and her team posted its highest total in seven years (188.050), placing third in a field of seven teams at the ECAC Division III Gymnastics Championships at Cortland. It was the 26th time in the meet's 28-year history that Ithaca placed among the top-three teams at the ECACs. The Bombers will next compete at the NCGA Championships in Eau Claire, WI on March 25.
Brandon Lewis
(Red Creek)
   Alfred State College sophomore Brandon Lewis (Red Creek) helped set a new record in the 4-by-400 relay at the NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at Texas Tech. Brandon and David Miller, Marquis Johnson-Broughton and Isiah Whiting ran the distance in 3:26.70, finishing 20th but bringing back a new record. The Alfred men finished 26th overall but were fourth of the non-scholarship schools.
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   Utica College freshman thrower Breiten Balschmiter (Newark) finished sixth (50-10.75) in the shot put at the ECAC Championships at the new York Armory in Manhattan this weekend. He has an NCAA national championship provisional distance mark, it’s just a question whether he’ll be invited to the event. He’ll know that on Sunday. He is already among the nation’s top 20 Division III shot putters in the indoor season.             
   Freshman 125-pounder Sean Walton (Pal-Mac) finished fourth in the Mid-American Conference championships on Sunday, losing a tough 3-2 decision to Central Michigan’s Chris Cullinan in the consolation. The Bulls as a team were third.
Brittan McMillon
   Roberts Wesleyan College senior captain Brittany McMillon (Lyons) has earned First Team All–American Mideast Conference honors. She averaged a team-leading 12.1 points per game, and also is the Lady Raiders’ leading rebounder at 7.1 boards per game, while shooting 45.1% from the field. An all-around talent, she also recorded 59 steals, 39 assists and 36 blocked shots. 
Marissa Bunce
   Sophomore guard Marissa Bunce (Newark) has received Honorable Mention All-AMC recognition. She was second on the team behind Brittany in scoring with 9.6 points per game, shooting 60 three-point field goals this season. That total is tied for the sixth highest season total in school history. To date, Marissa has made 134 three pointers in her career, placing her one behind Rhoda Rasberry for second on the all-time Lady Raider list.
   Coach Bob Segave, who was named AMC Coach of the Year, said he was happy for McMillon and Bunce and their honors. “They have worked very hard this season, persevering through injuries. They would be the first players to tell you that these awards are not possible without their teammates and our staff.”
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   University at Buffalo forward Javon McCrea (Newark) has been named the Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year – the first UB player to win the award.
   Having one of the finest freshman campaigns in school history, Javon averages 11.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. His 330 points this season is the third-highest single-season total by a freshman in school history – and the season isn’t over just yet.
   Javon demonstrated his ability to be efficient around the basket – he leads the Mid-American Conference and ranks third in the nation in field goal percentage (.648). He ranks fourth in the conference in blocked shots with 50 – the second most ever by a UB freshman. His 38 steals are second on the team. He has four double-doubles on the season – the most by a Buffalo freshman since the Bulls returned to Division I in 1991.
   "This a tremendous honor for Javon and for our program. Especially considering all of the great freshmen we have throughout the Mid-American Conference," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "It is a testament to the hard work Javon put in and the hard work his teammates put in to put him in this position."
   Javon’s honor is also a testimony to all the people in Newark who stepped in and helped guide this young man – the coaches and teachers who got him ready for Division I ball. 
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   Have news about a Wayne County athlete who’s playing a college sport this spring? Send me a note at john.addyman@yahoo.com and we’ll track that athlete…


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