Indiana Wesleyan Punches Ticket Into The Semifinals
By Matt Bos, NAIA Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – (Box Score) No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan led from start to finish in in its 95-79 win over Friends (Kan.) in the second quarterfinal contest of the day. The 2014 event is being played at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.
The Wildcats advance to play in the national semifinals, earning their first win in quarterfinal action in five tries.
Indiana Wesleyan scored the first 11 points of the game and never trailed against Friends. The Wildcats extended the lead to 15 (27-12) at the 10-minute mark until Friends rallied and outscored IWU 20-7 to make it a two-point game, 34-32.
With the score 36-34, Indiana Wesleyan stretched its advantage to 10 just prior to the half after a Jordan Weidner three-pointer but Friends scored the final basket of the opening 20 minutes to make it 48-40 at the break.
The lead stayed from 6-10 points in the early stages of the second half until Friends made a run, and, following consecutive three-pointers by Blake Wilson, the Falcons were within four, 63-59.
Four would be as close as Friends would get as Indiana Wesleyan used an outstanding three-point shooting effort to pull away. Weidner and Bob Peters made a couple of three’s to push the lead back to double-digits where it stayed for the rest of the game. IWU iced it by going 10-for-12 from the free throw line during the final minutes.
Weidner poured in a career-high 35 points to lead the Wildcats. The senior made 10-of-19 field goal attempts and went 12-for-12 from the charity stripe. RJ Mahurin scored 16 and pulled down seven rebounds and Lane Mahurin added 10 points and 11 rebounds. IWU shot 53% for the game and 48% (12-for-25) from the three-point line while holding a 37-30 advantage on the glass.
Friends shot 44% from the field, 41% (11-for-27) from the three-point line, and was led by Joe Mitchell with 28 points. Blake Wilson scored 12 points coming off the bench and Anthony White recorded a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Falcons, who had never won a game at the Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship until this year, finish the season at 27-7.
Indiana Wesleyan, now 29-6, will play Southeastern (Fla.) in the first semifinal game on Monday, March 17 at 6pm.