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Ross Scores 31 Points, Leads Rowan Over Catholic, Advances to Sweet 16

WASHINGTON, DC – Marcellus Ross scored a game-high 31 points to lead Rowan to an 89-85 upset of #14 Catholic in the Second Round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship played at the DuFour Center to advance the Profs to their second straight Sweet 16.


Rowan (21-7) will meet the winner of the game between top-ranked Hampden-Sydney vs. Farmingdale State in the third round on March 8. 


Ross made six three-pointers in the game and grabbed seven rebounds while notching his fourth 30-plus point game of the year. Khalif Meares made 9-of-16 field goals to score 23 points and Ja’Zere Noel 20 points on 6-for-12 shooting, to go along with 11 rebounds, for his 16th double-double of the year. 


Ross also made a key defensive play with :25 to play, blocking Jesse Hafemeister’s layup attempt with the Profs leading, 85-82. Rowan then sealed it with three free throws in the final seconds. 


The Profs led by as much as 14, 47-33, early in the second half. Catholic (24-5) cut the deficit to 60-58 at the midway point of the half but free throws from Booty Butler and a three by Ross, gave Rowan a 65-58 lead. Catholic shot 61 percent from the field and although the Cardinals came within three points numerous times, and cut it to two points at 2:47, the Profs always had an answer. 


The first half was tight and Catholic held a four-point lead until Rowan took the lead for good, 22-21, on a layup by Meares. The Profs expanded that to eight points, 31-23, and then up to 10 points, 43-33, for the halftime lead.