Spartans Hold Off Dutch for Crucial A-R-C Win
Feb 2, 2019
DUBUQUE, Iowa – The University of Dubuque men’s basketball team picked up a pivotal win in the American Rivers Conference by topping Central College, 75-72 on Saturday afternoon.
For the second time this week, the Spartans played a back and forth battle that went down to the wire. The Spartans and Dutch matched everything that their opponent did in the opening 20 minutes, exchanging leads four times and being tied on six different occasions. Two Central free throws with 29 seconds left in the first half knotted the game at 29-29. With the shot clock off and UD ball, there was a mad scramble that landed the Spartans an inbounds on the sideline with under 10 seconds remaining, where the Spartans ran a perfect set piece and Cade Daugherty knocked down the three before the buzzer to send the Spartans into the locker room up 32-29.
In the second half, it looked as if the Spartans would coast their way to a victory as they slowly built their lead up to 16 with 8:24 remaining, but the Dutch had other plans. A 10-0 burst from Central in just over two minutes made it a six point ballgame. With the UD lead hanging around six points, the Dutch sank a three with 90 seconds to play to get within three points.
The Spartan lead sat at three points when Central attempted a three with 10 seconds went in and out but Central got the offensive rebound and was fouled, where they would convert on both free throws to get within a point. Avery Butler had a chance to salt away the game for the Spartans as he shot two free throws with just over two seconds left. He made the first to get the lead back to three points but missed the second, leaving open a desperation shot from beyond half court from Central to try to force overtime. The heave hit the front of the rim and bounced up but fell to the ground harmlessly, securing the 75-72 win for the Spartans.
Marcus McDaniel exploded for a game-high 25 points for the Spartans. Five of his eight makes came from three and he was a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. A trio of Spartans finished the game with 11 points. Avery Butler, Peter Ragen and Cade Daughtery would also combine for 14 rebounds to go with their 11 points.
UD was actually outshot percentage wise by the Dutch but UD forced Central into 17 turnovers, scoring 16 points off of those.
With the win, the Spartans improved to 13-9 overall and 5-7 in A-R-C play and into sixth place. The win also gives them the tie-breaker over the Dutch if it were to come down to it for postseason seeding as the Spartans swept the regular season series.
UD has two remaining home contest this season, beginning on Wednesday when they host Coe College at 8:00 p.m. There will be conference championship banner unveilings at halftime to honor the women’s volleyball team, men’s track and field, and baseball program.