Spartans Win on Senior Day, Earn #3 Seed in IIAC Tourney
Feb 21, 2015 | None
The Spartans honored six seniors on Saturday and locked up the #3 seed in the IIAC Tourney.
DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque needed some help from the only team to have swept them this season to capture the #2 seed in the 2015 IIAC Tournament. In front of a near capacity crowd on Senior Day the Spartans learned their fate before their dominating 77-63 victory on Jon Davison Court in Stoltz Sports Center. Buena Vista lost to Coe in Cedar Rapids which knotted the Spartans in the standing with the Kohawks (10-4). Coe held the edge in the tie break after splitting in league play with IIAC champion Buena Vista.
Buena Vista (18-7, 11-3) and Coe (16-9, 10-4) claimed the top two seeds and byes into Thursday's semifinal round, Dubuque (20-5, 10-4) slots in as the No. 3 seed. They will host No. 6-seed Luther (9-16, 5-9) Tuesday in a rematch of Saturday's regular season finale won by the Spartans, 77-63. In another season-final rematch, No. 4 seed Central (15-10, 8-6) will host No. 5 Wartburg (13-12, 6-8), also on Tuesday.
Buena Vista will host the Central-Wartburg winner, while Coe awaits the winner of the Dubuque-Luther rematch on Thursday. Thursday's semifinals winners meet Saturday, Feb. 28 at the higher remaining seed. The IIAC Tournament champion receives the conference's automatic berth in the 2015 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship in March.
First Round --- Tuesday, February 24
No. 6 Luther at No. 3 Dubuque, 7:00 p.m.
No. 5 Wartburg at No. 4 Central, 7:00 p.m.
Semifinals --- Thursday, February 26
Luther/Dubuque winner at No. 2 Coe, 7:00 p.m.
Wartburg/Central winner at No. 1 Buena Vista, 7:00 p.m.
Championship --- Saturday, February 28
Semifinal winners at highest remaining seed, TBA
Saturday's game provided what the near capacity crowd had been waiting for on the final day of the Iowa Conference season. The Spartans fans were brought to their feet on mutiple occasions as UD showcased their athleticism above the rim. The disappointment of Wednesday's loss didn't slow the hot shooting host Spartans as they rallied for their six seniors who have been part of the a record setting wins record in their four years as Spartans. Seniors Tanner Cooke, Brandon Ferguson, Gage Heffernan, Jeremy Ware, Lucas Ware, and Tyler Ware would all see action in Saturday's home win. None of the upperclassmen could match junior Andre Norris who finished the night sinking 11-18 shots from the field for a game high 32 points in just 33 minutes of playing time. Lucas Ware was 8-14 for 18 points and a team high nine rebounds. Heffernan finished with 10 points and 12 assists helping UD score 37 of their points in the paint. The Spartans led by as much as 23 points on Srnior Day and held the lead for 35:34 of the 40:00 minutes.
A tie for second in the Iowa Conference, UD finished just a game out of first place and placed their fate in the hands of an opponent wasn't the Cinderella Story UD was hoping for. Unfortunately league leader BV would suffer a loss at Coe as the Kohawk's Matt Daoust hit a jumper with 3.3 seconds remaining to push the Kohawks to a 69-67 win over the Beavers. The win locked up the No. 2 seed in the men's tournament for Coe.
Tuesday's match-up will look much the game on Saturday as the Luther College Norse journey to Dubuque once again in just four days. UD owns the season sweep, winning in Decorah by a 68-65 score and a convincing 77-63 win today. UD captured it's 20th win of the season and it's third consecutive 20-win season for coach Robbie Sieverding. The past four seasons UD is 80-26 overall and will be looking to add to the win total on Tuesday's tournament opener.
2014-2015 Men's Basketball Standings
|Buena Vista -y||11-3||18-7|
|Dubuque -x (RV)||10-4||20-5|