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PREVIEW: Saints to take on Drew in ECAC quarterfinals

PREVIEW: Saints to take on Drew in ECAC quarterfinals

ARLINGTON, Va. – The third-seeded Marymount University men's basketball team will take on top-seeded Drew University in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Men's Basketball Championship Tournament quarterfinals on Friday, March 1; the game is set for 8 p.m.

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How we got here

The Saints earned a 76-69 victory over No. 2-seeded Misericordia University in an ECAC first-round game on Wednesday. Trailing, 25-20, in the first half, the Saints went on a 19-0 run to end the half to take a 39-25 lead. They continued to hold a double-digit lead through much of the second half, until the Cougars began to stage a comeback attempt in the final 10 minutes. However, juniors Taiga Walker and Josh Giardina combined to hit nine free throws down the stretch to preserve the win. Walker led all scorers with 19 points in the game, while adding four rebounds and three steals.

How they got here

Drew defeated fourth-seeded Neumann University, 71-68, in a first-round contest, needing a second-half rally to take down the Knights. Neumann built up a 37-25 lead in the first half, but Drew opened the second half on a 19-8 run to cut the lead down to one. The Rangers continued to battle until taking their first lead of the second half, 65-63, with 2:01 to play. They pushed the lead to 71-65 on the way to complete to comeback. Darius Reiter led the Rangers with 19 points in the game, while Nate Aldrich pulled down 11 rebounds, and Riley Collins dished out 10 assists.

Last time out

The last time the Saints played an ECAC quarterfinal game, they defeated Penn State University-Abington on March 5, 2014 to advance to the semifinal round. Reed Scott paced the Saints with 15 points, while five Saints, in all, hit double-digit scoring. Marymount grabbed the lead early in the game and held a 39-33 advantage after the first half. The Saints held onto their lead through the second half for the win.

Hitting his stride

Walker has come on strong for the Saints through their postseason, scoring in double-figures in 3-of-4 games. His 19 against Misericordia came up just three points shy of his career high, while he has averaged 13.3 points in the four contests.

What's next?

The winner of Friday's game will move on to the semifinal round on Saturday, March 2 at Hood College, between the winner of another quarterfinal game between Brandeis University and Marywood University. The game is set for 6 p.m.