Tag Archive | "Basketball"

Intramural basketball All-Star Classic

Indiana Wesleyan University represented itself well in the 10th annual All-Star Classic at IWU’s Recreation and Wellness Center on March 28. Intramural basketball teams from Anderson University, Taylor University and IWU battled on the courts for the coveted golden basketball. Both IWU’s men’s and women’s teams took home the crown, each defeating their Anderson opponent in the championship game 44-34 and 33-30 respectively.

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Down, but not out

To say Indiana Wesleyan University men’s basketball team has had a roller-coaster season is an understatement. Starting out the year 9-0, it looked as if the Wildcats would cruise through the season. Unfortunately, the team went 5-5 over the next 10 games, putting the Wildcats in a tough spot.

Finishing the season at 21-11 on a high note, it seemed the Wildcats were going to pull off the MCC Tournament crown.

But Saturday, Feb. 25 saw IWU suffer a heartbreaking loss to Saint Francis by a score of 78-65, knocking the Wildcats out in the second round of the bracket.

But don’t count them out of the running for the NAIA National Tournament.

Head coach Greg Tonagel, while visibly frustrated, said he is ready for his players to step up their game at the big dance after the up-and-down season.

“Earning a bid to the national tournament was about your body of work over the entire year, and we’ve done well enough to get into the national tournament,” Tonagel said.

Tournament time is the most exciting of times, but it’s also an urgent time. Just one loss in NAIA Tournament and the Wildcats’ season is finished.

So how does a team bounce back from a heartbreaking loss and prepare for another tournament game?

IWU Director of Basketball Operations Steven Gidley (jr) explained: “I think we move on now, our guys are good at that. They’ve been in the gym working hard, getting up a lot of shots. They’re gonna head to practice, they’re gonna do film, they’re gonna do the right things and they’re going to prepare for the national tournament. It’s the big stage; everyone wants to do well on the big stage.”

Guard Derrick Troyer (sr) agreed. “I think the guys will come back a little more passionate,” he said.

Luckily for the Wildcats, coach Tonagel has a plan.

“This team needs to understand basic fundamentals,” Tonagel said. “So we’re going back to the basics. We are treating this week of practice as if it’s October first and the first day of practice.”

With a plan of action and hearts full of passion, the Wildcats head out to Missouri March 7 to compete for the NAIA Title.

“Our goal mindset as a program is to win the national tournament. We’re always going home on Sundays and Saturdays, and I don’t like that,” Gidley said. “I think I speak for the whole team in that, we are ready to enjoy a nice dinner on Monday night and go to work on Tuesday.”

Coach Tonagel is heading into the tournament with hopes that his players can show their skills in the big game and bring home a national crown.

“Any team can get hot, there’s some things we definitely have to correct and fix, but I’m looking for our team to get hot again,” Tonagel said. “We started out the year hot, went through a really rough spot, and now it sure would be nice to get going again.”

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Stepping things up: Wildcat men outlast ‘Leafs

After a disastrous first half that saw the Indiana Wesleyan University men’s basketball team blow a 12-point lead to trail by one at the break, the Wildcats rebounded with a strong second half and beat Goshen College last night in the first round of the MCC Tournament 74-66.

Jordan Weidner (so) owned the floor offensively, leading all scorers with 29 points. Weidner hit six three-pointers and sank 11 free throws — one more than the entire Maple Leaf roster.

Weidner said he had never played a game quite like it, but admitted there is still need for improvement all around.

“We didn’t play particularly well,” Weidner said. “We aren’t really satisfied.”

The Wildcats’ free throw problems as a team continued on the night, as IWU made just 24 of 47 attempts from the charity stripe.

Needless to say, coach Greg Tonagel wasn’t satisfied either.

“I certainly think we could have played better than what we did,” Tonagel said. “The first half they outplayed us. I would have thought we were playing for a little bit more and so the second half thankfully we came alive and played with a little intensity.”

The Wildcats’ next challenge comes to Luckey Arena on Saturday, when IWU will take on Saint Francis University in the second round of the tournament.

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One down… Wildcat women knock out Taylor

Krystal Stoneking (sr) hit a two-point shot from close range to put the Indiana Wesleyan University Wildcats up 55-51 with five minutes to play. Taylor University had stormed back from as many as 12 points down in the first round of the MCC Tournament, and momentum was on the Trojans’ side. But Stoneking’s basket put an IWU team struggling to find its rhythm back on track, cruising to a 69-60 victory.

“It was for our team and we needed it at that point,” said Stoneking of her crucial basket. “We knew they were closing the gap on us.”

Stoneking, the MCC Player of the Year, finished the night with 19 points, leading the Wildcats to a victory only made sweeter because it put an end to rival Taylor’s season.

“It’s always a tough game with [Taylor],” said IWU coach Steve Brooks. “They play differently against us than they do against anybody else, and when you play like that, stuff happens.”

The Wildcats will host St. Francis University (19-12) in the second round of the MCC Tournament on Friday at Luckey Arena. IWU topped the Cougars twice in the regular season, including a 74-59 beating Feb. 8.

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