Wartburg men’s and women’s basketball traveled to the University of Dubuque tonight looking to pick up two more wins, and they did exactly that.
The women’s team got things started with a hard fought, grind it out game against the Spartans that ended in a 76-66 final score. The final score did not indicate just how close the game really was.
Wartburg would play as well as you would expect on the offensive end, scoring right at about their season average, but were a little sluggish on the defensive end. To their credit, however, they forced Dubuque to take many contested jumpshots, but the Spartans were able to consistently knock them down from mid-range.
Where Wartburg’s defense was more effective, or where Dubuque’s offense was least effective, was from behind the three point line. Dubuque shot 3-17 and a lot of those missed shots turned into long rebounds and fast break opportunities for Wartburg. When Wartburg gets out and runs is when they play some of their best basketball.
A special moment for point guard Katie Sommer came at the end of the first quarter. On an assist to Morgan Neuendorf for a buzzer-beating three, Sommer broke the school record for most assists in a season, a record she set last season. After a five assist game today, the new record currently sits at 133, but will increase with each passing game.
Wartburg had four players in double figures led by Miranda Murphy, who had a brilliant game all around. Murphy finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds and blocked two shots.
The Wartburg men’s team followed up the women’s win with one of their best games in recent memory, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Knights came into the game tied for 6th place in the Iowa Conference with only two games left to play, only the top six teams make it into the Iowa Conference Tournament.
An early lead helped Wartburg get their minds set on winning from the beginning of the game. They would take a seven point lead into the halftime break, despite a big first half from Spartan guard Jamaree Atwater who had 12 points and a pair of threes in the first half. From that point on, though, Wartburg would shut him out of the scoring column.
The Knights’ defense was effective throughout the night and they were also able to keep the Spartans’ top scorers at bay. Offensively, Wartburg welcomed back starting point guard Nick Webber who missed the last game due to an ankle injury. They also got a very nice bounce back game from both Cam Kickbush and Jordan Cannon who combined for 27 points in Wednesday’s game.
The final score would see Wartburg on top in dominating fashion, 80-61 and the Knights led by more than 25 points on several occassions.
The final game of the regular season will take place Saturday, Feb. 18 at Levick Arena and the teams will be celebrating Senior Day.