Men's Basketball Advance to IIAC Tourney Semifinals

Feb 24, 2015

IIAC Male Athlete of the Week, Andre Norris, led UD in scoring on Tuesday night with 29 points and 12 rebounds.


DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque men's basketball team advanced out of the first round of the 2015 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) Tournament on Tuesday evening with a 92-74 victory over the Luther College Norse on Jon Davison Court in Stoltz Sports Center. The Spartans trailed for most of the opening half before fighting their way back into the game in the second half by holding the Norse to 32% shooting from the field in the final 20 minutes of play.

The Norse' game plan in the opening half of action provided the Luther fans plenty to cheer about as they sank eight three pointers to end with a 45-44 lead over the #3-seeded Spartans. Coach Rob Sieverding's halftime speech inspired the Spartans who came out in the second half and held Luther to 29 points and 16.7% from the three point arc. The Spartans found their groove and shot over 62% from the field in the second half and out scored Luther 48-29 en route to their 21st victory of the 2014-15 season.

"We played really well in the second half tonight," said Head Coach Robbie Sieverding. "We were much better on the defensive end and it really helped us get out in transition because we were getting stops.

One key component of the Spartans offensive firepower is this week's IIAC Male Athlete of the Week, Andre Norris. Norris averaged 32 points last week and finished with a game high 29 points and 12 rebounds on Tuesday. Norris was one of five student-athletes who were named to Team of the week. Norris scored 32 points, pulled down six rebounds, had four assists and four blocks in 37 minutes in a 94-80 loss to Buena Vista. Norris shot 10-of-22 from the floor with five 3-pointers and was 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. In the regular-season finale against Luther this past Saturday, he netted another 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting with another six rebounds in 33 minutes as the Spartans topped the Norse, 77-63. Norris averaged 31.5 points against Luther, which finished the year with the league's No. 2 scoring defense (67.8 ppg).

"Andre (Norris) is playing as good as anybody I've coached the past couple weeks and Gage also had a real nice game," added Coach Sieverding.

Gage Heffernan scored 6-9 shots from the field to finish with 20 points and nine rebounds. Jacob Mohlis added 14 points as UD shot 53.4% from the field in the win. UD scored 24 points off the Norse mistakes and dominated the inside game by scoring 37 points in the paint and scoring 15 points in second chance points. Luther held the lead for 20:36 of the game and UD led for just over 17 minutes. UD held a large margin in rebounding 39-21 which they used to spark their up-tempo offense.

UD advances to play #2-seed Coe College in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7:00 p.m. Just two more victories and the Spartans will make it to NCAA's March Madness and earn the automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Division III National Championships.

"Coe has played really well at home and we will need to be ready to go on Thursday," remarked Coach Sieverding. "Our guys understand it won't be easy going on the road, but are ready for the challenge."