Sioux Falls, S.D. (Box Score) – No. 1 seed Indiana Wesleyan led from start to finish in defeating No. 2 Morningside (Iowa) 86-68 in the third quarterfinal match-up played today at the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Indiana Wesleyan advances to play in its third straight quarterfinal, the first team to do so since both Northwestern (Iowa) and Cornerstone (Mich.) did in 2001-03.
Junior post Evan Maxwell led the Wildcats with 22 points and sensational freshman guard Kyle Mangas netted 19 to go with 13 rebounds. Mangas set the single-season scoring record at IWU in the first half and he, along with Maxwell, are the highest scoring duo for a season in program history.
Maxwell opened the game with a three-pointer that began an 8-0 run to put the Wildcats up for good. A 7-2 Morningside spurt made it two-point game (20-18) but Indiana Wesleyan outscored the Mustangs 23-8 over the final nine minutes for a 43-26 advantage heading into halftime.
Consecutive three-pointers by Maxwell and Canaan Coffey, followed by a basket by Jacob Johnson, stretched the IWU lead to as many as 25 in the second half. Morningside, led by the shooting of Brody Egger and inside play of Tyler Borchers, brought the Mustangs back to within 10 (69-59) with five minutes to go. Indiana Wesleyan scored the next seven points, however, beginning with a Coffey three-pointer, to put the game away.
Johnson (13 points, 8 rebounds) and Coffey (12 points, all from beyond the arc) gave Indiana Wesleyan four players in double figures. They held a huge edge on the boards, 48-26.
Egger had the hot-hand for Morningside, draining six three-pointers (matching the 2018 championship-high) on his way to 30 points. Tyler Borchers scored 12 and Alex Borchers netted 10 for the Mustangs, who finish the season with a 28-7 record.
It will be an all-Indiana semifinal match-up as the Wildcats are paired against No.1 overall seed IU East at 6pm on Monday, March 12.