CHAMPAIGN, IL – The University of Alabama has claimed both the men’s and women’s national championships at the 2019 Toyota National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, the first time in Alabama program history both titles were captured in the same year. This is the sixth national title for the Crimson Tide women (2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2019); third title in the last five years and three more titles then any other women’s team/program in the Intercollegiate Division. The Alabama men’s team retained the title after having been crowned national champions in 2018. The men’s team for Alabama has won three national championships in the Intercollegiate Division (2013, 2018, 2019).
Men’s National Championship Game Recap
University of Alabama def. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 69-65
This game was a repeat of the matchup in last year’s national championship game, in which the University of Alabama was crowned 2018 NWBA Intercollegiate Men’s National Champions with a 69-65 defeat of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. However, the UWW Warhawks entered this game with a lot of momentum blowing past opponents in the preliminary rounds scoring 105 and 97 points in those games. The Crimson Tide also looked strong entering the game with a 26-5 record and bolstering two decisive wins in the tourney over UTA-Arlington Movin’ Mavs and Southwest Minnesota State University Mustangs.
The offensive approach to this game for each team was very different, the Crimson Tide focused on a low post game and the Warhawks on their perimeter shooting. The advantage was held by Bama at half with a three-point margin, up 37-34.
The UW-Whitewater Warhawks looked to the hot hand of Dylan Fischbach of Vermillion, SD, having averaged 35.5 points, 12 rebounds and 18.5 assist in the previous two games. Fischbach started the game strong behind the arc but “cooled” to a still impressive 45.8% on 24 shots on three-pointers.
The transition offense and stellar shooting performance by the Crimson Tide were determining factors in this contest. Dequel Robinson of Mobile, AL, was able to account for +10 points from fast break opportunities for the Crimson Tide. The transition offense for Bama helped to create open layups or opportunities at the foul line, the Crimson Tide visited the charity stripe a staggering 27 times in the game. The overall shooting performance for Alabama was consistent throughout the game with a field goal percentage of 58.2% for the game, shooting 56.7% in the first half and 60% in the second half.
Michael AuPrince of Sydney, Australia, scored 27 points, snared 17 rebounds and accounted for six assists. The Men’s National Championship Player of the Game was Dequel Robinson, finishing the game with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 14 assists.
The Warhawks were led by Fischbach, who finished with 33 points, 13 assist and 2 rebounds. Christian Seidel of Malmo, Sweden, and Brian Wofford of Oklahoma City, OK, each had 13 points for UW-Whitewater.
Women’s National Championship Game Recap
University of Alabama def. University of Texas-Arlington, 82-76
There is the age old saying “save the best for last”, this is an appropriate phrase if asked to define the women’s national championship game as it was the last game of the 2019 Toyota National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. This game was full of momentum swings as it featured five lead changes and nine ties throughout the game. Further supporting this point of momentum swings is the longest run of the game for each team was 11-0 for Alabama and 12-0 UTA.
With Bama up 34-26 at half, UTA had to come out strong in the third quarter to get back into the game. The Lady Movin’ Mavs followed suit and outscored the Tide 20-11 in third to take a 36-35 lead into the final frame. This lead change was largely due to the stellar performance from Waterville, MN, native Rose Hollermann with game totals of 40 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.
The Crimson Tide made some big shots in key situations late in the game, this included a few shots as time was expiring on the shot clock. The exceptional offensive from Arinn “Juice” Young of Legal, Alberta-Canada, was on display as she recorded a triple-double for the game: 39 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
The “shot of the tournament” goes to Katharina Lang of Munich, Germany, who hit a well-contest 12-footer with six seconds remaining to knot the game at 67-67. The Lady Movin’ Mavs took a Hail Mary toss as time expired in regulation that fell short, those in attendance were blessed with some “free basketball” as the game moved to overtime.
The Lady Movin’ Mavs had to make a lineup change when 2016 Rio gold medalist Abigail Dunkin of New Braunfels, TX, fouled out of the game midway thru the overtime period. The Crimson Tide sensed the shift in momentum and with the leadership of Arinn Young they expanded the lead to eight late in the period. Hollermann was able to connect on a late three pointer but the deficit was too large for the Lady Movin’ Mavs to overcome so late in the contest.
Other Lady Movin’ Mavs finding double digits were Dunkin and Australian young phenom Annabelle Lindsay of Canberra, Australia, both with 12 points.
Aside from Young’s performance, the Crimson Tide received great offensive output from Katharina Lang, with 24 points and Rosalie Lalonde of Saint-Clec, Quebec-Canada, with 12 points.
3rd Place Game Recaps
University of Texas-Arlington def. University of Missouri, 49-35
The third-place game for the Intercollegiate Men's Division was a story of two halves for the UT-Arlington Movin’ Mavs and University of Missouri Tigers. The first half had each team sporting a +40% field goal percentage. In the second half the Mizzou Tigers only found the bottom of the net 29.2% of the time while Movin’ Mavs dialed in their shooting reaching a field goal percentage of 57.1% for the second half. The Movin’ Mavs were led by a great offensive outing by Clarence McCarthy-Grogan of Darwin, Australia, with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists. Another offensive leader was Adryan Powell of Cayman Islands recording a double-double with 18 points and 12 boards. The Mizzou Tigers received double digits in points from Tyler Buysee of Gunter, TX, with 18 points of which included splashing two of four from behind the three-point line.
University of Illinois def. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 44-36
The women’s third place game featured a bragging rights “border battle” matchup between University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. With a stellar shooting performance, 50% FG in first half, the UWW Warhawk women took a moderate lead into half, up 27-21 on the Fighting Illini. The Fighting Illini pressured the ball and sported stout defense in the second half holding the Warhawks to a 17.4% field goal percentage and creating a total of 15 turnovers. The women of Illinois played great team basketball on offense being led by Alejandra “Ali” Ibanez of Murray, UT, with 11 points, Erica Wilson of Childersburg, AL, with 11 points and Emily Oberst of Brookfield, WI, with 14 points. Unfortunate for the Warhawks, the big game from Josie DeHart of Fruita, CO, with 16 points was not enough offense for their team to take home some hardware in the third-place trophy.
2019 NWBA Intercollegiate Division Annual Awards
The 2019 NWBA Intercollegiate Division Annual Awards were highlighted by Player of the Year honors to Dylan Fischbach on the UW-Whitewater Warhawk Men and Rose Hollermann on the UT-Arlington Lady Movin’ Mavs. The Women’s Academic All-American Team featured Annabelle Lindsay (UTA), Avery Downing (Alabama), Jordan Lee (Illinois), Morgan Wood (UTA) and Abby Farrell (Illinois). The Men’s Academic All-American Team includes James Cook (Alabama), Abraham Hausman-Weiss (Alabama), Kyle Jankowski (Illinois), Blake Loftin (Auburn), Will Speed (Edinboro) and Ryan Kile (SMSU). For the full list of annual awards presented in the Intercollegiate Division for the 2018-19 NWBA season please visit http://www.niwbt.illinois.edu/awards.
2019 Toyota National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, State Farm Center
Results – Men’s
University of Alabama Crimson Tide def. UW-Whitewater Warhawks, 79-73
3rd Place – UT-Arlington def. Missouri, 65-46
5th Place – SMSU def. Illinois, 66-53
7th Place – UN-Omaha def. Edinboro, 55-50
UN-Omaha def. Auburn, 76-60
Missouri def. Edinboro, 61-51
UT-Arlington def. Illinois, 67-48
Alabama def. SMSU, 77-65
UW-Whitewater def. UN-Omaha, 105-66
Alabama def. UT-Arlington, 75-59
UW-Whitewater def. Missouri, 97-66
UN-Omaha def. Auburn, 63-61
SMSU def. Edinboro, 70-60
Illinois def. UN-Omaha, 53-41
Results - Women’s
University of Alabama Crimson Tide def. University of Texas-Arlington Lady Movin' Mavs, 82-76
Illinois def UW-Whitewater, 44-36
UT-Arlington def. UW-Whitewater, 68-44
Alabama def. Illinois, 55-32
The 2019 Toyota National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament was held March 14-16 in Champaign, IL. The venue for the competition was the State Farm Center on the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The tournament was hosted by the Division of Disability Resources & Educational Services part of the College of Applied Health Sciences at University of Illinois. Special thanks to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign communities, local sponsors, NWBA national partners and all tournament personnel on-site.
The 2020 Toyota National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament will be held in Wichita, KS. Please make sure to check the NWBA website for information as event approaches.
Good luck student-athletes with the remainder of your spring semester!