Norris Leads Spartans in IIAC Season Opener

Jan 8, 2015


DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque conference season opener started a bit slow for the Spartans as the visiting Central College Dutch jumped out to a 12 point lead in the opening five minutes of action. The Spartans would rally back to capture a halftime 35-32 lead. The Spartans stretched out their lead to 16 points as time wound down for the 79-63 victory on Jon Davison Court in Stoltz Sports Center.

"We got off to such a poort start but give Central some credit for that," said Head Coach Robbie Sieverding. "I was really proud of the way we responded and clawed our way back into the game. Gage really jump started things early (first 10 points) and midway through the second half, Andre took over for a stretch.

Andre Norris stepped up and connected from deep to lead UD with 32 points and 14 rebounds. He was 9-16 from the field and missed just one free throw 10-11. Gage Heffernan sank 10-16 attempts from the field to finish the evening with 21 points and six rebounds. Tyler Ware came off the bench and grabbed three defensive rebounds and added 11 points in the victory. 

The Dutch attempted 33 shot attempts from beyond the three points arc and connected on just eight attempts (24.2%). UD attempted just 19 three point attempts and sank four, all four were successful by Norris. The Spartans defense stepped up and forced the Dutch into committing 21 turnovers. Both teams shot nearly 40% from the field and it was the host Spartans who sank their free throws down the stretch to extend their lead to 16 points as time expired. 

"I thought we finished the last ten minutes of the game very well and Tyler Ware gave us some solid minutes down the stretch. We need to continue to clean a few things up but our effort on the defensive end up to this point has led to much of our success," added Coach Sieverding.

Tyler Ware provided a steady post presence as UD dominated the inside by scoring 40 of their 79 points inside the paint. Ware would finish the game with 16 points and four boards in 16 minutes of action. On the defensive end, the Spartans held the Dutch to 22 points in the paint and just seven second chance points. Both teams tied in rebounding with 21.

The Spartans (11-1 overall, 1-0 in IIAC) stay at home Saturday, January 10 when they host the Wartburg College Knights (8-4 overall, 1-0 in IIAC) on Jon Davison Court in Stoltz Sports Center. The Knight beat Luther College on Wednesday evening by a 67-57 score. Jordan Cannon led Wartburg with 20 points.