The Medaille men's basketball team is no longer the laughingstock of Division III.
The Mavericks are officially an elite program as they earned their first NCAA Tournament bid Saturday afternoon by defeating visiting Pitt-Bradford, 82-71, in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship game.
A sellout crowd of 428 in the Sullivan Center watched Keith Hack deliver an MVP performance. Hack scored a game-high 29 points on 11-of-13 shooting and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds, as Medaille (21-6) outscored Pitt-Bradford, 46-33, in the second half to complete its historic turnaround under former Canisius College coach Mike MacDonald. Four years ago the Mavericks went 0-25, following that with a 4-21 campaign in MacDonald's first season.
Bill Gersitz (Kenmore East) had 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the win as the Mavericks shot an astounding 62.7 percent.
Medaille will learn who it'll face in the tournament during Monday's selection show.
UB women zap Zips
The University at Buffalo women's basketball team snapped a six-game losing streak, routing Mid-American Conference guest Akron, 69-49.
Kourtney Brown scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds as the Bulls (6-21, 2-12) won in their final Alumni Arena appearance of the season.
Melissa Kanalley (O'Hara) scored 11 points for D'Youville in a 58-49 loss to Keuka in the semifinals of the North Eastern Athletic Conference tourney.
Meanwhile, today will be a busy day for Big 4 men's basketball teams. A suddenly hot Canisius tries to become the second Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team this weekend to stun regular-season champion Siena and UB plays on national television for the second time in eight days.
The Golden Griffins (10-18, 4-13) carry a three-game winning streak into its regular-season finale against the Saints (22-7, 15-2) in the Koessler Center. (2 p.m., Radio 710 AM). The streak is Canisius' longest since the 2006-07 season.
Niagara (23-7, 13-4) hosts Marist (9-21, 4-13) at 2 p.m. (Radio 105.1 FM). UB (17-9, 9-4) hopes to end a four-game losing streak in its MAC clash at Ohio (14-13, 7-6). (noon, ESPNU) St. Bonaventure (14-13, 5-9 Atlantic 10) visits Philadelphia to play Saint Joseph's (14-13, 7-6) at 2 p.m.
The Buffalo State women won their first State University at New York Athletic Conference title, capturing the school's first conference title in any sport since 2003. Lavonne Barfield won the long jump, while Najia McGee was the Bengals' top points earner with 16, followed by Latoya Edwards' 15. Edwards took second in the 55-meter dash with an NCAA provisional time of 7.27 seconds. McGee was second in the 200 dash and third in the 55. McGee, Edwards, Antonia Armstrong and Taniqua Hollingsworth (East) placed second in the 4x400 relay.
UB senior Alex Stamatakis won the MAC shot put title with a throw of 56-10 3/4 to highlight men's performances at the annual championship event. In the women's meet, Lataya Dixon earned a pair of ECAC qualifying marks with season-best showings, as she finished second in the high jump (5-7 3/4 ) and seventh in the 60-meter hurdles (8.8 seconds) in 8.80 seconds. Tina Villa provisionally qualified for the NCAA meet in the shot put with a throw of 50- 1/2 .