Point Lookout, Mo. –Box Score | Bracket Indiana Wesleyan’s first half hardwood clinic put an unceremonious end to York’s Cinderella Championship run Saturday night as the Wildcats rolled to an 89-64 thrashing in the quarterfinal round of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship.
A fixture in the later rounds of the event, Indiana Wesleyan were national champions in 2014 and the overall number one seed a year ago. Now 31-5, the Wildcats will take on No. 1 Davenport (Mich.) in Monday’s second semifinal, tipping off at 8pm.
With Jonny Marlin orchestrating the offense with precision, the Wildcats could do no wrong, especially in the first twenty minutes. Indiana Wesleyan shot 75% (24 for 32), had 14 team assists, out-rebounded York (41-21 for the game) and defended with passion throughout the half.
Marlin’s three-pointer gave the Wildcats the lead for good (22-19) at the 11:09 mark of the half. The margin built quickly with Lane Mahurin leading the way (15 first half points). Marlin added an exclamation point to the onslaught with a buzzer-beating, clear-out drive to give his team a 55-30 advantage at the intermission.
York could come no closer than 19 points (64-45) in the second half.
The contest’s final thirteen minutes saw the reserves of both squads have the opportunity to add their names to the championship’s statistical ledger. All twelve Wildcats who played scored and eleven different Panthers reached the scoring column.
Mahurin led Indiana Wesleyan, the number two seed in the Duer bracket, with 20 points. Marlin and Jacob Johnson added 13 apiece and Bob Peters had 10.
Marcus Price had a game high 22 points for York and stellar point guard Johnny Cooksey chipped in 12.
The defeat ends No. 8 seed York’s miracle ride through the championship. They ousted the Duer Bracket’s top seed St. Francis (Joliet, Ill.) in the first round and nipped No. 5 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 78-77 in Friday’s second round. The Panthers conclude their season at 25-10.
Indiana Wesleyan carries a 31-5 mark into Monday’s showdown against Davenport (32-4).