MARION, Ind. – No. 6 Indiana Wesleyan University men’s basketball crushed No. 22 Spring Arbor (Mich.) 77-51 on Saturday to clinch a Crossroads League regular season championship. The Indiana Wesleyan victory coupled with a Bethel (Ind.) upset over Saint Francis (Ind.) means the Wildcats win the league title outright.
- Score: Indiana Wesleyan def. Spring Arbor, 77-51
- Records: Indiana Wesleyan 23-7, 14-4 Crossroads League | Spring Arbor 20-10, 8-10 Crossroads League
- NAIA Top- 25 Rank: Indiana Wesleyan – No. 6 | Spring Arbor – No. 22
- Location: Luckey Arena | Indiana Wesleyan University | Marion, Indiana
- Evan Maxwell: 16 points, 5-5 FT, 8 rebounds
- Joel Okafor: 8 points, 4-7 FG
- Kyle Mangas: 27 points, 11-19 FG, 4-4 FT, 3 assists, 5 steals
- Canaan Coffey: 9 points, 3-6 3FG, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Spring Arbor led 25-21 with 6:23 left on the first half clock. Indiana Wesleyan went on a 42-8 run which lasted 15:47 as IWU built a 63-33 lead. Spring Arbor went 9:40 between field goals in that stretch.
- The regular season finale was the lowest scoring game of the year for Indiana Wesleyan. The Spring Arbor 51 points is a season-low for the Indiana Wesleyan defense by a wide margin as the previous low for an opponent was 62 by Rio Grande (Ohio) on November 3. The 77 points for IWU is also a season-low as they were limited to 79 points three different times.
- The Wildcats shot a season-high 91.7-percent from the free throw line on 11-of-12 attempts.
- There was a pregame program to celebrate Ben Carlson and Jacob Johnson on Senior Day.
- Indiana Wesleyan won the program’s ninth Crossroads League regular season championship – all coming in the past 12 seasons.
- Indiana Wesleyan wins the outright Crossroads League regular season championship. IWU and Saint Francis entered Saturday tied atop the league standings. The IWU win plus a USF loss at Bethel secured the outright title for the Wildcats.
- The Wildcats are 7-0 all-time with a chance to win a Crossroads League championship on the final day of the regular season.
- The Wildcats have won six outright and three shared league championships.
COACH TONAGEL SAYS…
- On the 42-8 run…
“We struggled early and I think that was some nerves. We didn’t come out offensively like we have lately. But we settled in and I think over time our consistent effort on defense really paid off.”
- On Senior Day for Ben Carlson and Jacob Johnson…
“I have a big place in my heart for Ben and Jacob because they are incredible men. They have really led our team in new ways and really set the bar high for what it means to be a leader. They have stayed with it and bought in over the past four years. They are unbelievable men and I am excited about their futures.”
NEXT TIME OUT
- Indiana Wesleyan hosts No. 8-seed Taylor (Ind.) in the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinals. The game will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Luckey Arena.