MARION, Ind. – Top-seed Indiana Wesleyan University men’s basketball won a physical 90-77 battle over No. 5-seed Huntington (Ind.) on Saturday in the Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals. IWU hosts No. 2-seed Saint Francis (Ind.) in the Tuesday title game as the Wildcats seek the program’s third tournament championship in program history.
- Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals
- Score: Indiana Wesleyan def. Huntington, 90-77
- Records: Indiana Wesleyan 25-7 | Huntington 14-18
- Crossroads League Tournament Seed: Indiana Wesleyan – No. 1 | Huntington – No. 5
- NAIA Top- 25 Rank: Indiana Wesleyan – No. 5 | Huntington – Not ranked
- Location: Luckey Arena | Indiana Wesleyan University | Marion, Indiana
- Jacob Johnson: 17 points, 7-12 FG, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
- Evan Maxwell: 15 points, 11 rebounds
- Joel Okafor: 10 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals
- Kyle Mangas: 26 points, 11-18 FG, 3-6 3FG
- Trevor Waite: 8 points, 3-4 FG, 5 rebounds
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Indiana Wesleyan built an early 28-14 lead with nine minutes left in the opening half, but over the next four minutes Huntington reeled off a 16-2 run to tie the score 30-30. IWU scored seven of the final nine points of the half to take a 39-34 lead into halftime.
- Evan Maxwell scored 13 seconds into the second half to give the Wildcats a seven point lead. The Wildcats’ lead stayed between 7 and 13 points for the next 15 minutes until the Foresters trimmed the deficit to 77-71 with 5 minutes remaining.
- Huntington could get no closer and a 13-4 Indiana Wesleyan run cemented the semifinal victory.
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Indiana Wesleyan advances to the league tournament championship game for the fourth consecutive season. IWU is now 8-3 in the semifinal round under head coach Greg Tonagel.
- Turnovers played a key part in the semifinal game as the Wildcats outscored the Foresters 23-2 in points off turnovers. IWU ended the game with 9 turnovers compared to 18 for HU.
COACH TONAGEL SAYS…
- “It was a good game today. It was two teams playing to get to that championship game. I thought our team answered their runs very well. There was a lot of intensity out there by both teams and a lot of toughness plays. Guys have bumps and bruises and there’s blood. At this time of year if you want to move on you have to make those plays.”
NEXT TIME OUT
- Indiana Wesleyan hosts the Crossroads League Tournament Championship on Tuesday night with a 7 p.m. tip-off. Top-seed IWU hosts No. 2-seed Saint Francis (Ind.) for the postseason title and all IWU students get in FREE with their student ID. USF beat No. 6 Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) 87-73 in the other semifinal game in Fort Wayne.