Ripon Wins MWC Tournament To Punch Their Ticket To NCAA Tourney - Feb 27, 2017
The Ripon College Men's Basketball team defeated Lake Forest 81-72 Saturday afternoon to win the 2017 Midwest Conference Tournament. That win advances them to next week's NCAA Division-III Tournament for the first time in 15 seasons.
Ripon (20-5) shot better than 50 percent in both halves and made 55 percent (30-55) of their shots in the game, including 45 percent (9-20) of their 3-pointers, while converting 80 percent (12-15) of their free throws. Lake Forest (14-11) finished the game shooting 45 percent (27-60) from the field, 35 percent (6-17) from 3-point range, and 60 percent (12-20) from the foul line.
Lake Forest got out to an early 7-2 lead, but that would be the Foresters' largest lead of the half, as Ripon battled back to tie the score at 13. After Lake Forest grabbed the lead back, Ripon answered again, as three-time MWC Player of the Year Ty Sabin scored the team's next eight points to give the Red Hawks a three-point lead with eight minutes left in the half. The Red Hawks took a six-point lead later in the half on a 3-pointer by Brendan McCoy, which was the beginning of a 7-0 run to push their lead to 10, before heading into the locker room with an eight-point advantage.
The Foresters cut that lead to three in the early minutes of the second half, but Ripon answered with a Liam Lesniak basket, before Sabin scored the team's next 11 points to push their lead to 11. Ripon continued to lead by double digits with nine and a half minutes to play, before Lake Forest slowly cut into that lead, going on a 19-11 run to cut the lead to three with one and a half minutes remaining. Cal Schultz then came up with the biggest basket of his career, extending Ripon's lead to six on a 3-pointer with just under one minute left. Lake Forest cut the lead to four with 31 seconds on the clock, but that's as close as they would get the rest of the day, as Ripon sank five of its final six free throws, four of which came from Sabin, to clinch the Championship.
Sabin finished with 31 points, with 20 coming in the second half, on 10-of-19 shooting, including 4-of-9 from 3-point range. That gives Sabin 280 career 3-pointers, which breaks the school record, which had been set 25 years ago by Brad Alberts '92. Sabin has now scored 2,516 career points, and has scored in double figures in each of his 97 career games for the Red Hawks. The senior from New Berlin, Wis. averaged 40.5 points per game in Ripon's two MWC Tournament games on 60 percent (29-48) shooting, including 57 percent (12-21) from 3-point range, while also making all 11 free throws in the Tournament.
McCoy added 11 points in Saturday's game, including a pair of 3-pointers, while Isaac Masters scored 10 points. Schultz finished with eight points and seven rebounds, while freshman Seth Kostroski posted six points as he made the only two shots he took, both coming on clutch 3-pointers. The win marks Ripon's first 20-win campaign in 18 years and is just the seventh time in program history that they have won that many games in a season.
Lake Forest was led by Jordan Moran's 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Eric Porter added 15 points, while Orlando Brown scored 13 on 6-of-8 shooting off the bench.
Courtesy of RiponRedHawks
MWC Tournament Final: Ripon - Lake Forest 81-72
MWC Tournament Semifinals:
Ripon - Cornell 80-79
Lake Forest - St. Norbert 73-70