No. 3 Spring Arbor men earn share of CRL title

by | Feb 17, 2019 | RRSN News | 0 comments

SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 3 ranked Spring Arbor University men’s basketball closed out the regular season with a dominant 79-60 win over Goshen College on Saturday to earn a share of the Crossroads League regular season championship.

Spring Arbor and Indiana Wesleyan University finished tied at the top of the league standings, but SAU secured the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Crossroads League Tournament based on tiebreakers and received the league’s automatic bid to the 2019 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship.

The league title is the first for Spring Arbor since joining the Crossroads League in 2004, and is the Cougars’ first conference title overall since capturing the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) crown during the 1996-97 campaign.

 

THE BASICS

FINAL SCORE: No. 3 Spring Arbor 79, Goshen 60

LOCATION: McDonald Athletic Center | Spring Arbor, Mich.

RECORDS: Spring Arbor 24-6 (14-4 CL), Goshen 8-22 (2-16 CL)

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Spring Arbor entered Saturday’s regular season finale with a chance to capture its first conference championship since becoming a member of the Crossroads League in 2004. Along with a win over Goshen, the Cougars needed Marian University to knock off Indiana Wesleyan, who had already clinched at least a share of the title.
  • Spring Arbor wasted no time, racing out to a 14-1 lead just over five minutes into the game.
  • Paul Marandet reached 500 career assists in the early moments of the game. The junior guard needed just three to hit the milestone coming into the contest and he accomplished the feat during Cougars’ opening scoring run.
  • Goshen closed the gap to nine, 25-16, midway through the first half, but Spring Arbor outscored the Maple Leafs 13-4 over the next nine minutes to take a 38-20 lead into halftime.
  • SAU broke the game wide open early in the second half with a 17-6 run in the first five minutes. The Cougars made five 3-pointers during the stretch, including four from senior Luke Barber.

 

FOR THE COUGARS

  • All 11 Cougars reached the scoring column. Barber and Payton DeWildt finished with 15 points apiece. Barber was 5-for-8 from 3-point range while DeWildt was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. DeWildt also hauled in a season-high seven rebounds.
  • Brandon Durnell had 13 points and five rebounds. Jeff Beckman and Tom Hamilton chipped in seven points each and Connor Cottingham tallied six.
  • Spring Arbor shot 46 percent (28-for-61) from the field, including 48 percent (10-for-21) from behind the 3-point line. The Cougars were also 13-for-15 from the charity stripe.
  • SAU won the rebound battle 45-33 and outscored Goshen in the paint 34-22.

 

FOR THE MAPLE LEAFS

  • Brandon Watkins and Ben Cotton led Goshen with 11 points each.
  • The Maple Leafs were held to 35 percent (23-for-65) shooting.

 

UP NEXT

The Crossroads League Tournament is set to begin on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Spring Arbor, the tournament’s top-seed, will host No. 8 seed Taylor University (11-19, 5-13 CL) starting at 7 p.m. from the McDonald Athletic Center.

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