UD Wins Wild Affair to Advance to A-R-C Semifinals

Feb 19, 2019

Box Score

WAVERLY, Iowa - After dropping the two regular season contests against Wartburg, the Unversity of Dubuque men's basketball team rallied from an 11 point halftime deficit to upset the #3-seed Wartburg Knights, 83-80 on the road and to advance to the American Rivers Conference Tournament Semifinals.

The Spartans came out of the gates ice cold shooting, scoring just two points over the opening five minutes to dig themselves an early 11-2 hole. The UD defense ratcheted up over the next three minutes to allow the Spartan offense to go on an 8-0 run to get back within one point of the Knights. However, that was as close as the Spartans could get for the remainder of the half as the Knights quickly pushed their lead back up to eight. The Knights would be able to keep the Spartans between six to 11 points away for the remainder of the half and UD went into the break trailing 41-30.

The Spartan offense shot just 33.3% (12-36) in the first half and a freezing 23.5% (4-17) from three, meanwhile the Knights would knock down seven first half threes. Avery Butler did his best to keep the Spartans in the game with eight points in the opening frame.

UD began the second half much differently than they did to start the first. Peter Ragen knocked down a three on the first possession of the half, leading to two threes from Deonte Newsome and one from Marcus McDaniel to put the Spartans on a 14-2 run to begin the half and grab their first lead of the game at 44-43 with 16:14 left in the game. The run would continue over the next four and a half minutes to push the lead to all the way to 54-43.

Mitch Berger drilled a three with 8:30 remaining to give UD their largest lead of the game at 65-49. However, the Knights would not quit and showed why they were the number three seed, slowly chipping away at the Spartan lead and getting back within one possession with 3:32 left.

Wartburg made it a one point game with 12 seconds remaining after a goaltend was called on UD, but the Spartans were able to break the ensuing press and Peter Ragen was fouled where he converted on both free throws to give UD an 83-80 lead. The Knights were able to get off one last shot but it ricocheted off the rim and Ragen grabbed the rebound as time expired to give the Spartans the victory.

UD shot a blistering 57.1% (16-28) in the second half to spark the comeback and 76.5% (13-17) from the free throw line to help hold off the Knights down the stretch. 

Everyone got in on the scoring action as 10 different Spartans scored and five different Spartans reached double figures. Deonte Newsome, Avery Butler and Peter Ragen all led the way for UD with 13 points each. Marcus McDaniel and Josh Evans were right behind with 12 and 11 points, respectively. 

UD advances to play Loras on Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. in the American Rivers Conference Tournament Semifinals.