Meyer Named MVP, Leads Spartans to Jon Davison Classic Championship

Dec 30, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Sophomore guard Abbey Meyer was named tournament MVP and scored a career-high 25 points as the University of Dubuque women's basketball team downed Grinnell, 74-69, to win the inaugural Jon Davison Classic title on Wednesday night. 

Meyer orchestrated one of her best all-around games after adding four steals, four rebounds, and three assists in victory against UD basketball alum Dana (Kester) Harrold C '04 and her Grinnell (5-5) squad. The Cascade, Iowa native averaged 19.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 steals in two tournament games en route to her first career tournament MVP.

The Spartans (5-6) took the lead for good midway through the first quarter, but saw their advantage trimmed to two points under five minutes remaining. A 7-0 run fueled by forward Emily Brinker and Meyer gave UD a nine-point cushion and lead they wouldn't relinquish. Utilizing a solid performance at the free throw line (21 of 26), including 9 of 10 by Meyer, the Spartans overcame a 5-for-22 (22.7%) night from the three-point line and 33.3 percent shooting in the second half.

Brinker totaled 12 points and nine rebounds and forward Braanna Steen registered the Spartans only double-double with 13 points and 11 boards.

UD took a 42-34 lead into halftime behind a balanced attack that saw five players register at least five points. Junior transfer Taylor Burdette had her most productive night in the blue and white with a career-best 10 points including eight in the first half. The Donnellson, Iowa native had a pair of highlight plays with back-to-back, and-ones to open up the initial Spartan lead in the first quarter.

UD improved to 5-2 all-time against Grinnell with their third-straight victory over the Pioneers. It was the first time facing UD alum Dana (Kester) Harrold C '04 and first meeting since the 1996-97 season. Kester is a former two-time, First Team All-IIAC selection and is Top-3 in UD history in career points and assists, while being the career leader in steals.

The Spartans open up the Iowa Conference season on January 6 against Wartburg at home. 

Augustana (Ill.) vs. Defiance (Ohio) Consolation Game recap
DUBUQUE, Iowa - Junior forward Kelsey Tietje racked up 25 points and 15 rebounds to lead a determined Defiance (Ohio) team over Augustana (Ill.), 63-56, in the Jon Davison Classic consolation game.

Tietje, the latest member of the Yellow Jackets (2-8) 1000-point club, kickstarted the Defiance offense with 16 points on 7 of 8 shooting in the game's first eight minutes. Defiance raced to a 23-11 lead after the first quarter and enjoyed a comfortable lead throughout until the Vikings (5-6) trimmed the lead to single digits in the waning minutes. Despite a 20 of 35 (57.1%) performance from the free throw line, the Yellow Jackets made enough down the stretch to snap a four-game skid.

Tietje was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging 21.5 points, 15.5 rebounds, and 4.0 blocks.

Forward Marissa Pezzopane led Augustana (Ill.) with 21 points and nine rebounds as the Viking offensive finished 31.0% from the floor. Guard Olivia Mayer was the Vikings lone representative on the All-Tournament team and finished the tournament averaging 15.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists.

Jon Davison Classic All-Tournament team
MVP Abbey Meyer - UD guard (19.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 3.5 spg, 12-25 FG, 14-17 FT) 
Emily Brinker - UD forward (15.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 9-24 FG, 11-17 FT)
Alex Neckopulos - Grinnell forward (15.0 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 12-21 FG, 6-13 FT)
Kelsey Tietje - Defiance center (21.5 ppg, 15.5 rps, 4.0 bpg, 13-31 FG, 17-22 FT)
Olivia Mayer - Augustana guard (15.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 9-19 FG, 12-13 FT)

Complete Jon Davison Classic Results
UD 74, Grinnell 69
Defiance (Ohio) 63, Augustana (Ill.) 56
UD 70, Defiance (Ohio) 68 (Overtime)
Grinnell 85, Augustana (Ill.) 80 (Overtime) 

Jon Davison Classic Preview