Wartburg advances to NCAA Tournament with IIAC Championship - Mar 4, 2017
The Wartburg College Men's Basketball team made Iowa Conference history on Saturday night with their win in the IIAC Tournament Championship game. The Knights became the first team to win the tournament title as a No. 6 seed, while also becoming only the second team to win three road games on their way to the title (2016 No.5 seed Central was the second team). Wartburg's Jordan Cannon (6'3''-G) and Nate Woeste (6'4''-G) both scored a game high 14 points the 89-85 victory over Central. When the week began, Wartburg was facing an uphill battle to win the IIAC Tournament but that did not slow down the Knights. The historic week began on Tuesday with a 74-68 win at No. 3 seed Buena Vista in which Joradan Cannon led the way for the Knights with 17 points. The challenge grew even bigger in the semifinals with 2017 Regular Season Co-Iowa Conference Champion and No. 2 seed Loras College waiting for the Knights. Sophomore Jaran Sabus (6'1''-G) stepped up big for Wartburg, hanging 35 points on the Duhawks for a Wartburg post season scoring record. With both teams shooting lights out the game came down to the wire, where the Knights would come out on top 92-89. Wartburg finished the semifinal game shooting 59.6% from the field and 31.6% behind the arch. Loras concluded its' final game shooting 50% from the field and 36.4% from 3-point land. The Champsionship game featured, for the first time in conferece history, a No. 5 seed versus No. 6 seed. The No. 5 seed Central College saw No. 6 seed Wartburg College's offense explode in the second half shooting 53.13% (17-32) from the field and 52.94% behind the arch (9-17). Wartburg's Woeste and Cannon were the teams leadings scorers with 14 points each. Nick weber was the teams next leading scorer with 13. Jaran Sabus pulled down a team high nine rebounds. Overall, Wartburg shot 44.8% from the field and 46.7% from three point. Central shot 41.3% from the field and 31% from three point. The free throw line may have been the difference maker in the game with Wartburg making 93.8% (15-16) and Central making only 58.8% (10-17). Central's Pete Walker (6'5''-G) continued his stellar conference tournament performance with 28 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Colby Tayler was Central's second leading scorer with 19 and also added eight rebounds. Ryan Kunkel (6'7''-F) led the Dutch in rebounds with 13. Wartburg improves to 19-9 on the season and will be making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 200-01. Central finishes the year with a 16-12 record.
Courtesy of IowaConference
IIAC Tournament Final: Wartburg - Central 89-85 IIAC Tournament Semifinals: Wartburg - Loras 92-89 Central - Nebraska Wesleyan 85-63
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