Trio of Alumni Return for Basketball's Jon Davison Classic

Dec 23, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque men's and women's basketball teams are set to host the eight-team, Jon Davison Classic in the Stoltz Sports Center from December 29-30. The men host Simpson College, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Mt. Mercy, while the women welcome home three Spartan alumni who coach Augustana (Ill.) College, Defiance (Ohio) College, and Grinnell College.


The Spartans welcome Mount Mercy University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and fellow Iowa Conference opponent, Simpson College, to the two-day, Jon Davison Classic held in the newly renovated Stoltz Sports Center. Fresh off a victory at North Park, 89-72, UD looks to bolster its 5-4 record in the final two non-conference games of the season. Preseason All-American candidate, forward Andre Norris (25.2 ppg and 12.9 rpg) leads a Spartan team picked to win the Iowa Conference in 2015-16.

Men’s Schedule
Tuesday, December 29
Mt. Mercy vs. Simpson – 3:00 p.m.
UD vs. Illinois Institute of Tech. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 30
Illinois Institute of Tech. – vs. Simpson – 3:00 p.m.
UD vs. Mt. Mercy – 7:00 p.m.

Mount Mercy
Record: 9-3
Against IIAC: 2-1

The Mustangs have won four of their last six games, including a pair of wins over IIAC foes thanks to a high-scoring attack that averages 91.4 points per game. Mt. Mercy, currently receiving votes in the latest NAIA men’s basketball coaches poll, is led by a trio of Illinois natives in G CJ Parker (14.8 ppg), F Alex Houston (14.2), and G Tre Wagner (14.1). Their up-tempo offense features 11 Mustang players who have suited up for at least eight games, averaging 10.3+ minutes per game.

Illinois Institute of Technology
Record: 2-8
Against IIAC: 0-1

The Scarlet Hawks have won two of their past three bouts after a sluggish start that included seven straight losses, three of them by single digits. Against their only Iowa Conference opponent, IIT fell to Coe, 89-85, in overtime two games ago after missing a potential game-winning shot as time expired in regulation. Forward Samuel Rarick (19.4 ppg) and G Anthony Mosley, Jr. (18.2) pace a Scarlet Hawk team that scores 75.2 ppg.

Simpson College
Record: 5-3
Against IIAC: 0-0

The Storm have had their share of ups and downs, but come into today’s game with a two-game winning streak. All three of Simpson’s losses, excluding a pair of exhibition defeats to Division 1 opponents, Drake University and University of Nebraska-Omaha, have come by single digits. Senior guard Dillon Gretzky (13.7 ppg) leads three Simpson scorers who average in double figures for a Storm offensive that averages 75.5 ppg.

Three prominent, Spartan basketball alumni return as the head coaches of Grinnell College (Dana (Kester) Harrold, ’04), Augustana (Ill.) College (Mark Beinborn ’98), and Defiance (Ohio) College (Jessica (Cox) Morris, ’05) in the two-day, Jon Davison Classic. All three coaches have a shot at facing Coach Noll and the Spartans, who look to bounce back from a pair of defeats to CCIW opponents. Leading the way for UD is forward Emily Brinker (15.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg).

Women’s Schedule
Tuesday, December 29
Grinnell vs. Augustana (Ill.) – 1:00 p.m.
UD vs. Defiance (Ohio) – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 30
Consolation game – 1:00 p.m.
Championship game – 5:00 p.m.

Record: 4-4, 2-3 Midwest Conference
Against IIAC: 1-0
Coach: Dana (Kester) Harrold ‘04, *member of UD Hall of Fame

The Pioneers have already played five MWC conference games and have dropped their last three by an average of 10+ points. Sandwiched between their MWC losing streak is a victory over IIAC’s Central College, 53-40. Forward Alex Neckopulos has led the Pioneers in scoring three times, rebounding seven times, and averages 9.8 ppg and 10.9 rpg for a Grinnell team that has utilized the same five starters for all eight games.

Augustana (Ill.)
Record: 5-4
Against IIAC: 1-2
Coach: Mark Beinborn ’98, *Two-time All-IIAC player

The Vikings have split their last four games that included a win over Central, 81-55, and a pair of defeats to Loras and Coe. Their final two non-conference games will take place at the Jon Davison classic as they prepare for a rugged CCIW slate that includes UD’s last two opponents, Wheaton (Ill.) and North Central (Ill.). Twelve Augustana players have seen action in at least seven games with Marissa Pezzopane (13.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) leading the charge.

Defiance (Ohio)
Record: 1-7, 1-2 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference
Against IIAC: 0-0
Coach: Jessica (Cox) Morris ’05, *All-IIAC player and two-time team captain at UD

The Yellow Jackets picked up their first win of the season in 68-47 blowout win over Manchester (Ind.) on December 2, but have dropped their last three by 36, 1, and 19 points, respectively. Earlier this season, the Yellow Jackets fell to Wheaton (Ill.) by the same margin as UD, 79-63. Led by forward Kelsey Tietje (14.0 ppg and 9.8 rpg), who recently became the 20th player in school history to top 1000 points, the Defiance offense averages just 57.6 ppg.