Wartburg Men, Women Upset Top-Seeds In IIAC Basketball Tournaments
The Wartburg men and women are both one win away from qualifying for the Division-III NCAA basketball tournaments. Each team recorded upset victories in conference tournament play Thursday night (February 26, 2015).
The Wartburg men defeated top-seed Buena Vista in the semifinals of the Iowa Conference tournament in Storm Lake. The Knights' 93-88 overtime win puts them in the tournament championship game for the first time since 2013.
The host Beavers led Wartburg 41-35 at halftime. The Knights opened the first three minutes of the second-half with a 13-3 run to take a 48-44 lead. Wartburg eventually built a 12-point advantage, but Buena Vista stormed back to gain an eight-point edge, at 82-74, with 2:41 remaining. The three-pointer by Jordan Cannon (Bolingbrook, Ill.) with eight seconds left sent the game into overtime.
Cannon scored a career-high 32 points to lead the Knights and established two new Iowa Conference tournament records in the process. His point total topped the 30 points that Nate Schmidt scored in Wartburg's win over Buena Vista in 2006. Cannon's 12 three-pointers was also an all-time single-game high in the tournament.
Up Next: The Knights play at Dubuque at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Iowa Conference Tournament championship game. The winner earns the league's automatic bid to the Division-III NCAA Tournament.
In women's action, Wartburg upset top-seed Dubuque in the semifinals of the Iowa Conference tournament. The 72-68 road victory puts the Knights in the tournament championship game for the first time since 2009.
Wartburg owned a 33-32 halftime advantage. The Knights and Spartans exchanged the lead five times in the opening 3:30 of the second half until Wartburg built a 10-point edge (52-42) with 10:13 remaining.
Dubuque cut the deficit to one-point twice in the final five minutes, but a mistake late in the game cost the Spartans the win. Coming out of a timeout, Dubuque turned the ball over with :07 left. Wartburg then sealed the victory at the free throw line.
Kailey Kladivo (Traer, Iowa) and Bobbie Burrows (Bondurant, Iowa) each scored 18 points to lead the Knights.
Up Next: The Wartburg women faces arch-rival Luther in the championship game of the Iowa Conference Tournament in Decorah. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The winner earns the league's automatic bid to the Division-III NCAA Tournament.