College notebook: Holy Spirit grad Joanna Persiano helps Widener advance in Division III women's basketball tourney
Widener University advanced to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 behind Joanna Persiano’s (Holy Spirit) 15 points and six rebounds.
Persiano connected for five 3-pointers as Widener defeated No. 9 Catholic University 57-56 and will face Middle Atlantic Conference champion and rival Messiah on Friday.
In an opening-round 56-52 victory over FDU-Florham, Persiano posted seven points, two rebounds and two assists.
Freshman Morgan Jones (Atlantic Christian) leads Baptist College in rebounds with 8.5 per game and ranks fourth in the Colonial States Conference in the statistic. Her single-game high is 17 rebounds.
Coastal Carolina senior guard Anthony Raffa (Wildwood Catholic) was selected to the All-Big South Conference first team. He ended the regular season averaging a team-high and conference second-best 19.0 points per game.
He is sixth in steals, eighth in 3-point field-goal percentage and 3-point field goals made and 10th in free-throw percentage. He is second on the team in assists with 41 and steals with 52.
Raffa ranks in the Top 30 in NCAA Division I after 15 20-or-more point performances. He was in double figures in all but two games.
For his career, Raffa is fifth in program scoring in just three seasons played. He has 1,447 career points and ranks fifth in program history in free throws made with 297.
Garret Kerr (Middle Township) scored 11 points and added seven rebounds as the University of Sciences fell 65-53 to Bloomfield in the quarterfinal round of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference tournament.
The Devils ended the season 13-13.
Kerr was named CACC Player of the Year and named to the first team.
The sophomore is the first player in conference history to earn CACC Rookie of the Year as a freshman and Player of the Year Award the next season, and the first CACC men’s basketball player to ever earn both awards during their career.
Jate Chesul (Holy Spirit) was 3-for-5 shooting for seven points as Bentley beat UMass-Lowell 81-70 to end the season on a four-game winning streak.
The College of New Jersey junior Brian Broderick (Southern Regional) advanced to the D-III Championships with a 7-4 decision at 184 pounds at the East Regional at Gettysburg College. Broderick won all four of his matches. He improved to 25-2. The Lions finished sixth in the team standings with 67 points. Centenary College was first with 109.5.
Connecticut College senior Caleb Garza (Ocean City) was named to the All-New England Small College Athletic Con-ference second team to cap his career with his fourth straight all-conference nod. Garza, the former NESCAC Rookie of the Year, helped the Camels finish 23rd in the nation.
Men’s indoor track
Monmouth University se-nior Ford Palmer (Absegami) anchored the winning distance-medley relay in a school-record 9 minutes, 46 seconds at the 92nd annual IC4A Indoor Track and Field Championships at Boston University. The record was set at 9:55 in the preliminaries.
Jake Lindacher (Egg Harbor Township) led off TCNJ’s 4x200 relay to a fifth-place finish in 1:30.33 at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at the 168th St. Armory in New York.
Women’s indoor track
Rowan senior Lisa Jones (Oakcrest) ran the third leg of the winning 4x800 relay in a school-record 9:19.57 at the ECAC meet. Meaghan Borz (Buena Regional) was 13th in the 5,000 meters (18:16.84), and Jessica Carlson (Southern Regional) was 10th in the triple jump (35 feet, 8 inches) and 14th in the 60-meter hurdles (9.37).
Paul Gallagher (St. Augustine Prep), the 2010 Press Swimmer of the Year, capped his junior season at the University of Delaware with a bronze medal in the 200-yard medley relay at the Colonial Athletic Conference Championships at George Mason University. Gallagher’s time in the freestyle leg was 19.79 seconds for a third-place time of 1:29.20.
He also swam the last leg of the fifth-place 800 freestyle relay in a school-record 6:37.95. Individually, he was sixth in the 100 freestyle (45.00), 13th in the 100 backstroke (50.50) and 19th in the 50 freestyle (20.8). The Blue Hens finished fourth in the team scoring.
TCNJ’s Stephen Gibson (St. Augustine Prep) and Mike Oliva (Vineland) earned a spot on the New Jersey Athletic Conference first team for their part in the 200 medley relay. Gibson also earned first team nods in the 200 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay. Gibson landed on the honorable-mention team for his accomplishments in the 50 freestyle, while Olivia was recognized for the 100 breaststroke on the honorable-mention team.
Women’s swimming and diving
Rowan’s Kylie O’Rourke (Lower Cape May Regional) was selected to the NJAC 1-meter dive honorable mention team, while senior Teresa Stearns (Holy Spirit) was honored on the second team for her part in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and the 200 medley relay.
Kevin Crowe (St. Augustine Prep) had an assist as Went-worth Institute of Technology defeated Salve Regina 3-1 to capture its sixth ECAC Northeast title.
The win earned the Leopards an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA D-III tournament.