posted March 4, 2007

Sectional Play Takes Flying Dutchmen to Wisconsin

Hope's NCAA tournament march continues with Sectional tournament play on Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.

The Flying Dutchmen are in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Division III men's championships for the second consecutive year and for the fifth time in school history.

Friday's Sectional semi-final games will pit Hope (25-4) against Carroll, Wisc. (18-8) at 6 p.m. CT followed by host UW-Stevens Point (26-2) versus Washington of St. Louis (24-4) at 8 p.m. CT.  The winners will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT seeking to advance to the Final Four the weekend of March 16-17 in Salem, Va.

Ticket information will be announced Monday.

Carroll College Pioneers (18-8)

With an enrollment of 3,292, Carroll College is located in Waukesha, Wisc.  Founded in 1841, Carroll is Wisconsin's oldest college and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

Hope and Carroll traded one-point decisions when these two teams met back in the early 60s.  Carroll edged Hope 71-70 in Waukesha in 1961-62 and a year later Hope edged Carroll 65-64 in a game played at Zeeland High School. (The Holland Civic Center was not available because of a Holland Christian High School game.)

Coach David Schultz is in his 5th season (78-46).

The Pioneers are making their second straight and second-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament representing the Midwest Conference.

The Pioneers gained the Sectional tournament by defeating two nationally ranked opponents --#7 Augustana, Ill. 73-69 and #5 St. Thomas, Minn. 86-80.

Guard Nathan Drury was the Midwest League Player of the Year. The 6-2 senior from Littleton, Colo. leads his team in scoring (19.8 ppg), rebounds (4.7 ppg), assists (123) and three-pointers (78).  He scored 32 points in the victory over Augustana to surpass 1,500 career points and had 17 points in the win over St. Thomas.

The Pioneers have five players averaging in double figures -- Drury 19.8, senior forward Adam Ligocki 11.2, senior forward Buck Colomy 10.9, sophomore guard Wes Ladwig 11.2, and junior forward Ryan Mueller 10.7.

Carroll was defeated by UW Stevens Point 93-75 in the teams' season opener back in November.

UW Stevens Point Pointers (26-2)

With an enrollment of 8,700, the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point is representing the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.  The Pointers were Division III national champions in 2004 and 2005.

The Pointers have been the top-ranked Division III team most of this season.  They'll bring a 10-game winning streak into the Sectional tournament.

Coach Bob Emling is in his second season (43-12).

The Pointers had a first round bye.  In the second round, Stevens Point defeated St. John's, Minn. 93-76.

Stevens Point is led in scoring by sophomore forward Pete Rortvedt at 17.3 points per game.  He has made a school-record 94 three-pointers.  Other double-figure scorers are senior forward Jon Krull (16.7 ppg) and junior guard Steve Hicklin (13.9 ppg).

Hope has no playing history with US Stevens Point.

Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. Bears (24-4)

With an enrollment of 5,900, Washington University in St. Louis is representing the University Athletic Association.

The Bears are making their 13th NCAA tournament appearance.  The team's best finish was advancing to the Elite Eight in 1988 and 1996.

Coach Mark Edwards is in his 27th season (470-231)

In a pair of home games, the Bears defeated Fontbonne, Mo. in the first round 77-58 and topped Whitworth, Wash. 63-61 in the second round.  There are no seniors in Washington's starting lineup.

Junior forward Troy Ruths was University Athletic Association Player of the Year.  He is averaging 19.4 points per game.  Others Bears averaging in double figures are sophomore forward Tyler Nading (15.3 ppg) and sophomore guard Sean Wallis (12.9 ppg).

Hope has no playing history with Washington University.  This season the teams had a common opponent in the University of Chicago, Washington won 79-74 in a conference game while Hope defeated the Maroons 76-54 in the first round of NCAA play.