DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque men's basketball team capped off a perfect non-conference season after winning on Friday night over the Bethany Lutheran College Vikings by a 83-71 victory. The Spartans will enter Iowa Conference play on Wednesday, January 8 against the Wartburg College Knights with a perfect, unbeaten 11-0 record for head coach Robbie Sieverding.
The Spartans played about as ugly as the inclement Iowa weather outside, trailing most of the opening half of action. The Spartans sank just 4-15 attempts (26.7%) from the three point arc in the opening 20 minutes of play before taking their first lead of the night and stretching it to a 45-36 at the break. The Vikings shot 55.6% from the field and sank 6-15 attempts from the three point arc in the first half.
UD finished the night sinking 30-66 attempts from the field (45.5%) and were oled in scoring by Mitch Michalis who led the Spartans with 13 points after sinking 7-7 free throw attempts. Brandon Ferguson was the only other Spartan to reach double digits with 10 points. Andre Norris and Gage Heffernan both finished with six rebounds to help the Spartans out rebound the Vikings 36-31. UD made 16-19 free throw attempts (84.2%).
The Spartans scored 38 points in the paint and 26 points off the Vikings turnovers. UD's bench out scored the Vikings bench 40-15.
UD has four out of five starters averaging in double digits in scoring this season. Norris leads with 16.7 ppg., Chris Frazier 14.1 ppg., Heffernan with 12.3 ppg., and Michaelis with 11.5 ppg. The Spartans have out scored their opponents by 15.1 points per game and are averaging 87.6 points a game.
The Spartans were picked as league favorites in coaches pre-season poll and return two starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's 22-7 team which finished third in the league with a 9-5 mark, winning the Iowa Conference tournament, and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in program history.