MARION, Ind. – No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan University men’s basketball raced out to a 20-6 lead and were never threatened in the Crossroads League Tournament championship game victory over No. 8 Saint Francis (Ind.). The Wildcats won 95-83 to collect the program’s third league tournament title.
- Crossroads League Tournament Championship
- Score: Indiana Wesleyan def. Saint Francis, 95-83
- Records: Indiana Wesleyan 26-7 | Saint Francis 25-8
- Crossroads League Tournament Seed: Indiana Wesleyan – No. 1 | Saint Francis – No. 2
- NAIA Top- 25 Rank: Indiana Wesleyan – No. 5 | Saint Francis – No. 8
- Location: Luckey Arena | Indiana Wesleyan University | Marion, Indiana
- Jacob Johnson: 20 points, 8-11 FG, 4-4 3FG, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 2 steals
- Evan Maxwell: 14 points, 6-11 FG, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
- Joel Okafor: 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
- Kyle Mangas: 25 points, 10-18 FG, 3-5 3FG, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
- Canaan Coffey: 18 points, 3-6 3FG, 7-7 FT, 3 assists
- Ben Carlson: 4 points, 8 rebounds
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Indiana Wesleyan raced out to a 20-6 advantage. The lead grew to as many as 24 points on two occasions in the first half.
- Saint Francis closed the opening half on an 11-0 run. It turned a 24-point lead for the Wildcats into a 45-32 halftime advantage.
- The Cougars closed to within 12 at 51-39 with 17 minutes left in the game. It was the closest they would get until the final minute of play as the Wildcats responded with a 27-11 run for a game-high 78-50 lead.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The Crossroads League Tournament championship is the third in program history. IWU also won the title in 2010 and 2015.
- Indiana Wesleyan extends their win streak in the series with Saint Francis to seven straight. The win streak started with the 2016 NAIA DII National Championship victory.
- The Wildcats nearly broke the 3-point field goal percentage program record of .652 (15 of 23) with a .647 (11 of 17) effort tonight.
- Kyle Mangas has averaged 30.0 points per game in three wins this season vs. Saint Francis.
- Senior Jacob Johnson on winning the tournament championship…
“It’s kind of a dream. Everybody wants to end their career like this and ending it the way we did with the teammates I have makes me really grateful. It is not about who we are playing but it is about us and coming out every single possession and giving it our all. We have been preparing for the tournament all year and we are peaking at the right time. Now let’s go win five more games.”
- Senior Ben Carlson on winning the tournament championship…
“It obviously means a lot. You come out in your last game at Luckey Arena and you want it to be special. I thought our guys did a great job coming out with the right mentality and attacked them first. It was a really fun game for us.”
NEXT TIME OUT
- Indiana Wesleyan plays in the NAIA Division II National Championship March 7-13 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The NAIA Selection Show reveals the national championship bracket on Wednesday at 6 p.m.