MARHSHALL, MINNESOTA – The 41st National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament opened Thursday with the top seeds advancing in both the men’s and women’s brackets. The NIWBT Women’s No. 1 seed University of Texas-Arlington and No. 2 seed University of Alabama won its semi-final games to meet in the National Championship finals for the second consecutive year.
Alabama defeated the Lady Movin’ Mavs, 57-48, claiming its fifth National title in 2017. The University of Texas-Arlington has advanced to the National Championship game for the last four years, winning the title in 2016.
Alabama rolled past the University of Illinois, 69-17, while the UTA Lady Movin’ Mavs defated the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 78-44. Illinois and Wisconsin-Whitewater will play Saturday morning for third place.
In the Men’s quarterfinal rounds, the top-ranked seeds prevailed for the semi-final matchups that are set for Friday starting at 2 p.m. Central time. The first men’s semi-final round will feature No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide against No. 4 Missouri Tigers. Alabama cruised to a 21-point victory over interstate rival Auburn, 66-45, while Mizzou knocked off Edinboro University, 52-35.
The other men’s semi-final game will see defending National Champion University of Texas-Arlington, the No. 2 seed, going up against No. 3 seed University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The UTA Movin’ Mavs were dominant in their quarterfinal matchup with the University of Illinois, 79-39. The Wisconsin-Whitewater team defeated host school Southwest Minnesota State University, 94-65, to reach the semi-finals.
Friday will also feature the men’s 5th and 7th place games in the evening, starting at 6 p.m. Central.
2018 NIWBT Women’s Semi-Finals Recaps
No. 1 University of Texas-Arlington def. No. 4 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 78-44
The University of Texas-Arlington has now qualified for its third consecutive National Championship game by defeating the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 78-44. The Lady Movin’ Mavs, who are looking for its second title in three years. Two UTA players recorded a double-double in the evening game: 2016 U.S. Paralympic gold medalist Abbie Dunkin of New Braunfels, Texas, with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists; and Annabelle Lindsay of Canberra, Australia, with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Two-time U.S. Paralympian and 2016 Rio gold medalist Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota, scored 15 points. For the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Lindsay Zurbrugg of Portland, Oregon, led the way with 23 points.
No. 2 University of Alabama def. University of Illinois, 69-19
The University of Alabama came out quickly a stingy defense building a 29-9 lead at the half, holding Illinois to single digits in all quarters, for a 69-19 win. This marks the Crimson Tide’s ninth National Championship final in the last 10 years. The University of Alabama, the defending National Champions, saw four players reach double digits in scoring, with Arinn Young of Legal, Alberta, Canada, socring a triple double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Rosalie Lalonde of Saint-Clet, Quebec, Canada, scored 15 points. Barbara Gross of Pohlheim, Germany, and Katherine Lang of Kirchseeon, Germany, each scored 12 points each. Two U.S. National Team member Emily Oberst of Brookfield, Wisconsin, led the Illini with a double-double scoring 12 points and snagging 15 rebounds.
2018 NIWBT Men’s Game Recaps
No. 1 University of Alabama def. No. 9 Auburn University, 66-45
The No. 1 seeded Crimson Tide rolled to a 21-point victory over interstate rival Auburn Tigers, 66-45. Alabama took the early lead and never looked back as they were led in scoring by Michael AuPrince of Sydney, Australia, with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Also finding double digits in scoring for Alabama were Dequel Robinson of Mobile, Alabama, with 13 points, and Lindy Bridges of Bryant, Alabama, with 12 points. Auburn was led in scoring by Hunter Alvis of Mobile, Alabama, and Blake Loftin of Mobile, Alabama, 15 and 10 points, respectively.
No. 4 University of Missouri def. No. 5 Edinboro University, 52-35
In a classic match-up of middle seeds, this afternoon’s game lived up to pundits’ expectations as both squads were knotted up at 20-20 at half. The second half witnessed a defensive display by the Missouri Tigers, limiting Edinboro to only 15, second-half points, and pulling out a 52-35 victory to advance. Sidney Attiogbe of Mesnil le Roi, France, scored 18 points, and Marshall Lindsay of Stansbury Park, Utah, put up 15 points to lead Mizzou. The Fighting Scots leading scorer was Kevin Atherley of Pikesville, Maryland.
No. 3 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater def. No. 6 Southwest Minnesota State University, 94-65
2018 NWBA Intercollegiate MVP Dylan Fischbach of Vermillion, South Dakota, paced the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to the semi-finals with a double-double with 18 points, 16 assists and 9 rebounds, past host school Southwest Minnesota State University, 94-65. Leading the Warhawks in scoring was Christian Seidel of Malmo, Sweden, with 30 points, and Guthrie Lindquist of Lake City, Minnesota, scoring 16 points. Three Mustangs found double digits with Matthew Talbot of Alto, Michigan, scoring 31 points. Jon Fagre of Eagan, Minnesota, and Jesus Vila of Clinton, Michigan, scored 14 and 13 points, respectively.
No. 2 University of Texas-Arlington def. No. 7 University of Illinois, 79-39
The Movin’ Mavs cruised to a 40-point victory over the Illini to open the 2018 NIWBT in hopes of defending its 2017 National Championships. At the half, University of Texas-Arlington had a commanding 37-16 lead and never looked back. Clarence Grogan of Darwin, Australia, paced UTA with 31 points, with Fabian Romo of Houston, Texas, scoring 11 points, and Daisuke Mitsumoto of Shiga, Japan, putting up 10 points. For Illinois, Spencer Heslop of Clearfield, Utah, and Thomas Duffy of Ottawa, Illinois, were the leading scorers with 19 and 10 points, respectively.
No. 9 Auburn University def. No. 8 University of Nebraska-Omaha, 69-64
Auburn University ended a 21-game losing streak by upending the No. 8 seeded University of Nebraska-Omaha, 69-64, which kicked off the 41st NIWBT. The come-from-behind Tiger win was spurned by Ranley Clayton of Alexander City, Alabama, who scored 14 of her 20 points going 7-for-7 from the floor in the second half. Hunter Alvis of Arab, Alabama was the leading scorer for Auburn with 28 points. The University of Nebraska-Omaha leading scorers were Brent Regier of Henderson, Nebraska, and Jeromie Meyer of Woodbine, Iowa, with 25 points each.
2018 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, Minnesota
Auburn def. Univ. of Nebraska-Omaha, 69-64
Univ. Texas-Arlington def. Illinois, 79-39
Univ. Wisconsin-Whitewater def. Southwest Minnesota State Univ., 94-65
Missouri vs. Edinboro Univ., 52-35
Alabama def. Auburn, 66-45
Univ. Texas-Arlington def. Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 78-44
Alabama def. Illinois, 69-19
Friday, March 16
8 a.m. – Men’s Consolation Games
2 p.m. – Men’s Semi-Finals
6 p.m. – Men’s 5th Place Game
8 p.m. – Men’s 7th Place Game
Saturday, March 17
8 a.m. – Women’s 3rd Place Game
- Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. Illinois
10 a.m. – Men’s 3rd Place Game
12 p.m. – Women’s National Championship Game
- Univ. of Texas-Arlington vs. Alabama
2 p.m. – Men’s National Championship Game