A very disciplined University of Texas at Arlington wheelchair basketball team maintained its drive to capture the first Women’s National Championship at the 2016 NWBA National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at host school Edinboro University, March 10-12. The Lady Movin’ Mavs defeated the No. 1 seeded University of Illinois, 65-51.
On the men’s side, the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater won its 11th NWBA National Intercollegiate Title since 1999. The Warhawks defeated the University of Alabama, 73-55, for its third consecutive National crown.
Men’s National Championship Game: Wisconsin-Whitewater 73, Alabama 55
The Warhawks were led to the National title under the senior leadership of Derrick Bisnett, who was named the season MVP. He did not score until the 15:40 mark of the first half, and then went on a shooting spree finishing the first half with 18 points with 10 assists. At the end of the first half, the Warhawks were up 39-28.
“We put our senior leaders on the team into a position to lead us to the championship,” said Jeremy Lade, UW-Whitewater Head Coach and three-time U.S. Paralympian. “Bisnett’s almost triple double show he buys into the system. He was aggressive with his shot, which opened up other guys and this has worked for us all season.”
Bisnett continued his prowess in the second half leading the Warhawks to finish with 32 points on the night with 17 assists and 8 rebounds to be named the first Dr. Tim Nugent Tournament MVP. Last fall, NWBA founder Dr. Tim Nugent died, and is credited with disabled sports development throughout the United States and the world, as well as a pioneer for disability accessibility.
Also finding double digits for Whitewater were AJ Messmer and Christian Seidel with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Crimson Tide’s Dequel Robinson was 7 for 17 on the floor for 17 points, with Jannik Blair adding 12 and Michael Auprince contributing 10.
Women’s National Championship Game: Texas at Arlington 65, Illinois 51
Second seeded University of Texas at Arlington brought an unstoppable game plan on Saturday en route to its first Women’s National Championship by defeating No. 1 seed University of Illinois, 65-51. The Lady Movin’ Mavs jumped out to a 16-4 advantage with both 2012 U.S. Paralympian Rose Hollermann and Morgan Wood scoring eight a piece. Hollerman, the 2015-16 NWBA Collegiate Player of the Year, continued to light up the scoreboard finishing with 35 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
UTA maintained control through the rest of the first half, including a 16-point lead with 2:24 remaining, 32-16, and went into half with a 34-20 lead.
“We’re bringing this title and trophy back to UTA and dedicating it to the late great coach Jim Hayes who passed about 10 years ago,” said Lady Movin’ Mavs Head Coach Jason Nelms, also a two-time U.S. Paralympian. “Rose (Hollermann) is always fast for us. We came into this game with nothing to lose, even if we returned with the second-place trophy.”
The Mavs continued its momentum in the third slowly increasing the lead to as much as 17 with Hollerman scoring 10 more for a 50-33 lead with 1:56 remaining in the third.
“We played it a little safer in the second half,” said Nelms. “We stressed to the team patience and take the shots you want. We had to get back to that in the fourth quarter.”
Illinois was led by 2016 U.S. Paralympic team hopeful Gail Gaeng with 24 points and nine assists. Kendra Zeman brought 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Hollerman was named the first Dr. Tim Nugent Tournament MVP for her impressive performance going 27 for 38 from the floor for 66 points in two games, with 16 rebounds and 12 assists. Last fall, NWBA founder Dr. Tim Nugent died, and is credited with disabled sports development throughout the United States and the world, as well as a pioneer for disability accessibility.
Men’s Third Place Game: Texas at Arlington 63, Illinois 59, OT
The men’s third-place contest was the barnburner of the tournament as an extra five-minute stanza was needed between the University of Texas at Arlington and University of Illinois. The first half witnessed five lead changes with it ending tied at 24 between the two strong squads. The Illini started the second taking a slight two-point advantage through the first 1:30 of the second, and then UTA ties it up at 28 and went on a 11-6 run for a 41-34 lead over a four-minute stretch. The Illini returned with a 7-3 run knotting the game up again at 44 with 8:33 left in the game. From this point forward there were three more ties and no team had a lead larger than four.
In the extra stanza, Illini jumped out to a 58-55 lead with a Ryan Neiswender three-pointer at 3:26. The Movin’ Mavs’ Andy Kraft ties the game up at 58 for the ninth time with a jumper with a 1:23 remaining. With only 57 seconds remaining, The Mavs held onto a slight advantage with the duo of Andy Kraft and Jan Gans putting back five points to take the game, 63-59.
Statistically, Gans (25 points) and Kraft (29 points) combined for 54 points and 21 rebounds. The University of Illinois leading scorers were Neiswender with 23 points, Spencer Heslop with 15 and Patrick Tomic with 10.
Women’s Third Place Game: Alabama 79, Wisconsin-Whitewater 31
The University of Alabama women’s team captured the third-place trophy with a convincing 79-31 win over the Lady Warhawks of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Alabama was propelled with a 35-point contribution from Arinn Young, with Caitlin McDermott and Maude Jacobs contributing 14 and 13 points, respectively. Marissa Bartels for the Lady Warhawks recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Men’s Fifth Place Game: Missouri 59, Southwest Minnesota State University 35
The University of Missouri finished in fifth place over Southwest Minnesota State University, 59-35. The Tigers duo of Marshall Lindsay and James Bohnett sank 21 points each in their victory, while seven others contributed. For the Mustangs, David Evjen put up 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the early morning game.
This was the 39th edition of the NWBA National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, and marks the third time that Edinboro University has hosted. The NWBA Intercollegiate Division is comprised of nine men’s and five women’s universities.
2016 NWBA National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
5th place – University of Missouri def. Southwest Minnesota State University, 59-35; 3rd place – University of Texas at Arlington def. University of Illinois, 63-59, OT; 1st place – University of Wisconsin at Whitewater def. University of Alabama, 73-55
Dr. Tim Nugent Tournament MVP – Derrick Bisnett of the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
3rd place – University of Alabama won by forfeit over University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 79-31; 1st place – University of Texas at Arlington def. University of Illinois, 65-51
Dr. Tim Nugent Tournament MVP – Rose Hollermann of the University of Texas at Arlington