Villa Maria Seeks to Dethrone Berkeley NY; Knights Looking for 4-Peat

Villa Maria Seeks to Dethrone Berkeley NY; Knights Looking for 4-Peat

Uniontown, PA - A tale of two teams, this National Championship features the Berkeley College Knights, who are the three-time defending Men’s Division II USCAA National Champions and the Villa Maria Vikings playing for their first USCAA National Championship in school history.

In today’s first semifinal match up, #7 Warren Wilson was in control and looking to pull another upset in Uniontown against #3 Villa Maria. At the half, they led 46-39 behind reserve Merault Almonor, who scored 10 points in the first. However, a 9-2 run for Villa Maria to end of the half provided momentum for the Vikings in the second.

Villa Maria outscored Warren Wilson 66-53 in the second half and made key free throws down the stretch to secure their spot in Saturday’s National Championship game. The Viking’s Dominic Douglas played 38 minutes and scored a game-high 29 points and went 10-11 from the free throw line.

In the nightcap for Men’s Division II, Berkeley came out true to fashion, scoring 60 points against #5 Penn State Brandywine in the first half. Their defensive pressure and traps led to eight Brandywine turnovers and several points in the paint. Ricardo Ayuso paced the Knights with 20 points in the first half and finished the evening with 32, which was a game-high. Berkeley shot over 50% from the field in the fast-paced first half, while Brandywine shot less than 17% from the field.

In the second half, the three-time defending National Champions were outscored 58-47. Brandywine changed their defensive strategy and implemented a full court press, which resulted in 21 points off turnovers for the Lions. Isaiah Lester led all Brandywine scorers with 21 points while Terrence Brown added 17 points in 37 minutes of play. However, it wasn’t enough to overcome the first-half deficit and Berkeley College-NY won by a score of 107-85.

Berkeley College-NY and Villa Maria play at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Penn State Fayette. Watch the championship game on basketball.theuscaa.com by clicking watch live.

-USCAA