Men's Basketball Earn IIAC Tourney Berth with Win Over Storm
Feb 11, 2015 | None
INDIANOLA, Iowa - The University of Dubuque men's basketball team locked in a berth in the 2015 Iowa Conference Tournament after a 78-65 road victory on Wednesday night. The Spartans maintained within striking distance of the league leader and received some help from Central College after they beat Coe 78-75 to give the Spartans sole possession of second place with just three league contests remaining.
Lucas Ware maintained the hot hand as he continues to sizzle in the second half of the season by leading a quartet of starters in scoring with 17 points. Gage Heffernan scored 17 points and led the Spartans in rebounding with a team high 10 boards, including eight defensive grabs. Andre Norris sank 6-11 attempts from the field to finish the evening with 14 points as Brandon Ferguson added 13 points. UD made 30-62 shots from the foor (48.4%) and dominated the inside game by scoring 44 points in the paint. Simpson's bench would out score the Spartans, but it wasn't needed when UD's starters set the pace early.
"Our team was, once again, very balanced with four guys in double figures with Gage leading the way," commented Head Coach Robbie Sieverding. "We didn't shoot the ball well from the three-point line tonight but we made up for it by outscoring Simpson by 18 in the paint."
UD's defense would hold the Storm to 25 points in the first half after they scored 15 points off Storm turnovers to lead 33-25. The Storm made just nine baskets in the opening half and were out scored in the final 20 minutes of play 45-40.
Time is running out of the regular IIAC season with just three games remaining. UD (18-4, 8-3 in IIAC) is just a game away from league leading Buena Vista University (16-6, 9-2 in IIAC) and moved a game ahead of Coe (13-9, 7-4 in IIAC). The Spartans travel to face the Wartburg College Knights (13-9, 6-5 in IIAC) on Saturday, Feb. 14 before returning home to host Buena Vista on Wednesday, Feb. 18 and Luther College (8-14, 4-7 in IIAC) in their final regular season game on senior night on Jon Davison Court in Stoltz Sports Center.
The race for the championship is winding down with leader Buena Vista hosting Simpson on Feb. 14, at UD on Feb. 18 and at Coe College (13-9, 7-4 in IIAC). Coe's final three match-ups are at Loras on Feb. 14, at Simpson on Feb. 18 and hosting Buena Vista on Feb. 21. Fourth place Wartburg host the Spartans on Saturday before ending the IIAC season at Luther College (8-14, 4-7 in IIAC) and at Central College (12-10, 5-6 in IIAC).
"Our next game is at Wartburg and they have played some good basketball of late," said Coach Sieverding. "They have some very good guards and a post player that is playing well. We will have our hands full on Saturday, as it is never easy to win on the road."
|Buena Vista -x||9-2||16-6|