Collegiate Ticker - Jan. 16, 2019

The second half of the 2018-2019 United States Bowling Congress Collegiate season got underway last weekend across the United States, highlighted by victories in bracket play by the McKendree men and St. Ambrose women at the Eagles Baker Challenge in Addison, Illinois.

The event was held at Stardust Bowl and welcomed 21 men's and 21 women's varsity programs. Teams competed in 40 Baker games over two days to determine the eight teams in each division advancing to bracket play.

Bracket matches were contested in a best-of-five Baker format to determine the tournament champion, while the 40-game qualifying totals determined how many points teams received towards the Team Power Rankings. Placement in the Team Power Rankings will determine which teams compete in postseason play.

In the men's division, Robert Morris-Illinois dominated qualifying, leading Calumet by nearly 400 pins. Grand View finished qualifying in third place, while McKendree was fourth.

In bracket play, McKendree and Calumet proved to be the dominant teams as they advanced to the championship round. Calumet won the opening game of the title tilt, 208-164, but McKendree rallied to win the final three games (224-180, 226-172, 197-194) to record the 3-1 victory.

On the way to the title match, the McKendree Bearcats defeated No. 5 St. Francis-Illinois (3-2) and No. 8 Lindenwood (3-1), while the Crimson Wave dispatched of No. 7 Davenport (3-2) and No. 6 St. Ambrose (3-2).

In the women's division, St. Ambrose looked to be the team to beat from the start as the Fighting Bees led qualifying by 315 pins. Robert Morris-Illinois qualified second and was followed by Aquinas and Saint Xavier.

In the finals of the bracket, St. Ambrose faced off against Robert Morris-Illinois in a back-and-forth run to the title. St. Ambrose quickly got out to a 2-0 lead after wins of 190-188 and 189-151, but Robert Morris-Illinois fought back to force a deciding game after posting victories of 187-171 and 179-145.

The Fighting Bees found the right look in Game 5, finishing off the weekend at Stardust Bowl with a 216-185 win.

St. Ambrose bested No. 8 Lewis (3-1) and No. 5 Lindenwood (3-1) on the way to the title match, while the Eagles defeated No. 7 St. Francis-Illinois (3-1) and No. 3 Aquinas (3-1) to advance.

In other USBC Collegiate action over the weekend:

- At the Mid-Winter Invitational in Jonesboro, Arkansas, the Vanderbilt women led the way in total pinfall.

- At the Buckeye Baker Classic in Columbus, Ohio, the Pikeville men and Huntington women paced the field in pinfall.

- At the Griffon Invitational in St. Joseph, Missouri, the Hastings women and men swept the top spots.

- At the SCAD Baker Challenge in Savannah, Georgia, the Webber International men and Savannah College of Art and Design-Savannah women led qualifying on the way to bracket wins.

- At the Viking Classic in Fairfield, Connecticut, the Suffolk Community College women and men finished at the top of the standings in their respective divisions.

- At the Southwest Intercollegiate Bowling Conference (SWIBC) No. 5 in Richardson, Texas, the Oklahoma Christian men and Newman women prevailed. At SWIBC No. 6 in Plano, Texas, the Newman women and men swept the top spots. 

BowlTV will broadcast the Kegel/ISBPA Midwest Collegiate Classic on Jan. 19-20 from Stardust Bowl. The tournament is a Tier 1 event on the USBC Collegiate schedule, and the livestream schedule can be found here.

For complete results and the full schedule for the 2018-2019 season, click here.