Men’s basketball advances to NCAA Division III Quarterfinals with upset over #13 St. Thomas


Andrew Walker

Guilford College junior forward Kyler Gregory scores in the ODAC Tournament Championship game on Feb.24. On Mar. 8, Gregory led Guilford with 25 points in a victory over the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) to advance to the NCAA Division III Championship Quarterfinals.(File photo)//Photo by Andrew walker/The Guilfordian

Guilford College men’s basketball upset the No.13-ranked University of St. Thomas (Minn.) in the Third Round of the NCAA Division III Championship, 80-73.

Junior forward Kyler Gregory scored 25 points and had 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season to lead Guilford.

Senior forward Marcus Curry (15), redshirt sophomore Jaylen Gore (14) and senior forward Carson Long (13) scored in double digits for Guilford.

Guilford took the lead for the final time with five minutes remaining when Curry hit two free-throws.

St. Thomas got with two with one minute remaining after making a layup and a free-throw.Long respond with a layup and Guilford made four free-throws in the final minute to hold the lead.

Guilford kept it close in the early part of the first half but an outburst from senior guard Michael Hannon put the Tommies up 39-30 at half. Hannon was four-of-six from beyond the arc and made all five free-throws to lead the team with 17.

Curry lead Guilford in the first-half with 11 points on five-of-nine shooting. Although the Quakers trailed by nine at the half, Guilford shot 46 percent from the field. St. Thomas shot nine-of-19 from the three-point line to get ahead at half.

Guilford went on a 11-3 run to start the second half, taking the lead with 14:52 remaining. The Quaker defense forced a few turnovers by the Tommies and also pulled down a majority of the rebounds during the run.

Guilford came alive from beyond the arc in the second half, scoring six three-pointers. Liam Ward came off the bench and contributed on both ends of the courts with blocks and rebounds and making a three-pointer. Ward has six rebounds and two blocks off the bench.

Guilford shot 15-of-28 (53.6%) from the field and six-of-10 (60%) from the three-point line. Making 14-of15 free-throws in the second half helped Guilford secure the victory .

Throughout the game Gore and Gregory connected with Gore finding Gregory for three easy layups on pick and rolls. Gregory scored 17 of his points in the second half. he finished with shooting nine-of-14 from the field and seven-of-nine from the free-throw line.

The Guilford defense stepped up in the second half with a multitude of blocks, including a couple by Curry. After allowing St. Thomas to shoot well in the first half, the Tommies shots couldn’t fall in the second half. St. Thomas was held to 38.2 percent shooting in the second half, including 5-of-19 (26.3%) from beyond the arc.

The Quakers out rebounded St. Thomas 42-27.  Curry added eight boards to Gregory’s 11. Guilford led in second chance points with 13 to the Tommies 3.

Guilford started the game with a multitude of turnovers, having nine in the first half but limited them in the second half. The turnovers by St. Thomas in the second half allowed Guilford to get back in the game.

Hannon led St. Thomas with a game-high 28 points and first-year guard Anders Nelson added in 13 points.

Guilford is 6-0 over ranked teams on the season. The Quakers beat #17 Wittenberg University in the Second Round, as well as two victories each over Randolph-Macon college and the University of Lynchburg.

The Quakers advance to the NCAA Division III Championship Quarterfinals tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m.. Guilford will face the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.