The University of Alabama Crimson Tide, the No. 3 seed, upended the University of Texas at Arlington Movin’ Mavs, 73-54, to advance to the National Championship game of the 2016 NWBA National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament on Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern at Edinboro University. The Crimson Tide took the lead at 16:50 of the first half and continued to roll to a 35-23 first stanza lead.
Alabama’s Michael Auprince came out in the second half scoring 18 points and finished the day at 13-19 from the floor for 30 points and 15 rebounds. The Movin’ Mavs were able to cut its deficit to six points at 14:47 of the second half, but Alabama returned with a 12-0 run for a 56-38 advantage with 9:20 remaining.
The Movin’ Mavs’ Andy Kraft, who finished with 12 points, fouled out early in the game. Kraft was one of UTA’s leading scorers on the season.
Ryan Morich, of Alabama, found the basket for 23 points shooting 8-10 from the floor. The Crimson Tide finished the game shooting 62 percent on 29-47.
“It might be an upset to others but we came in here expecting to win,” said Ford Burttram, University of Alabama Head Coach. “My hat goes off to UTA and their program, they are a really good team. We changed up our plan a little. We took advantage of our strengths for a change and got the ball to go in the hole.”
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater continued its perfect form in the the first semi-final game of the afternoon by defeating the University of Illinois, 64-55. The Warhawks, shooting 51 percent from the floor in the game, took the lead at the 16:54 mark of the first half and never looked back and increased it to as much as 18 points. The Fighting Illini were able to cut that in half in the last 1:30 of the game with a 9-0 run that was accredited to Spencer Heslop’s five of 17 points coming in the last 44 seconds.
Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Derrick Bisnett was the stat highlight with a triple double that consisted of 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Warhawks’ David Fleming and Christian Seidel were shy of a double double as each had nine rebounds. Fleming scored 17 points, while Seidel finished with 14 points.
The University of Illinois and University of Texas at Arlington will play for third place on Saturday at noon on Saturday.
Southwest Minnesota State University advances to the fifth-place game after narrowly edging out host school Edinboro University, 67-61. Walter Johnson, of SW Minnesota State, led the way for the Mustangs with 28 points, going 13-17 from the floor. David Evjen scored a double-double with 18 points and 19 rebounds. Edinboro was paced by Mike Adams who was 8 for 19 for 21 points in the second game of the day.
Also joining the fifth-place game is the University of Missouri after defeating Arizona State University, 65-43. Leading the Tigers with a triple double was Marshall Lindsay who snagged 11 rebounds, dished 16 assists and went 10 for 20 from the floor for 22 points. Three other players for Missouri found double figures: James Bohnett (16 pts.), Truman Walker (13 pts.), and Joe Underwood (10 pts.).
The Sun Devils’ Luis Raygoza was solid with 16 points, and Robert Reed provided 18 more points in their effort.
Host school Edinboro University finished seventh after a convincing win over Auburn University, 70-24. Kevin Atherley put up 27 points and brought down 16 rebounds to lead Edinboro in the final game on Friday. Nine other Edinboro athletes scored in their final game of the 2015-16 season.
Earlier in the first game on Friday morning, Arizona State University advanced in the consolation bracket by forfeit over Auburn University, who had an illegal line-up.
The top two seeded women’s teams will face off for the National Title on Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern. The No. 1 University of Illinois Illini will tip off with the No. 2 Lady Movin’ Mavs of the University of Texas at Arlington
Championship Saturday will feature the placement games on the men’s side starting at 8 a.m. with the fifth-place game, followed by the women’s third-place game at 10 a.m. The men’s bronze-medal game tips at noon.
This marks the 39th edition of the NWBA National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, and marks the third time that Edinboro University has hosted. The Fighting Scots were NIWBT runner-ups in 2007. The NWBA Intercollegiate Division is comprised of nine men’s and five women’s universities.
The entire 2016 NWBA National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament will be web streamed live and produced by Edinboro University on the NWBA website at www.nwba.org.
2016 NWBA National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
Consolation: Arizona State University won by forfeit over Auburn University; Southwest Minnesota State University def. Edinboro University, 67-61; University of Missouri def. Arizona State University, 65-43
Semi-Finals: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater def. University of Illinois, 64-55; University of Alabama def. University of Texas at Arlington, 73-54
7th Place: Edinboro University def. Auburn University, 70-24
2016 NWBA National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Schedule
McComb Fieldhouse, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
All Times Eastern
Saturday, March 12, 2016
8:00 AM Men Southwest Minnesota State University vs. University of Missouri - 5th Place Game
10:00 AM Women University of Wisconsin at Whitewater vs. University of Alabama - 3rd Place
12:00 PM Men University of Illinois vs. University of Texas at Arlington - 3rd Place Game
2:00 PM Women University of Illinois vs. University of Texas at Arlington - Championship
4:00 PM Men University of Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. University of Alabama - Championship