WPU Survives Grand View in TP Game

Alec Schwab lead the Statesmen in scoring Saturday against rival Grand View in the traditional TP Game.

Alec Schwab lead the Statesmen in scoring Saturday against rival Grand View in the traditional TP Game.

Oskaloosa–The Statesmen men’s basketball team almost lost at its own game, but eventually came out on top 94-87 against Grand View in Midwest Collegiate Conference play Saturday.

With all of the league’s postseason seedings determined Wednesday night, Saturday’s matchup was purely for bragging rights between the rivals. Oh, and a bit of fun was had as well as a layup by Blake Walker (Sr., Rose Garden, Physical Education) just 1:23 in set off a traditional explosion of sorts as hundreds of rolls of toilet paper were launched onto the floor of Penn Gymnasium.

Following the technical foul, the teams exchanged blows throughout the first half with eight lead changes and six ties. Highlighted by eight three-pointers, Grand View (15-13, 4-8 MCC) led 40-37 over William Penn (19-9, 9-3 MCC) at the break.

The Statesmen roared out of their locker room with eight straight, only to watch the Vikings come right back. The seesaw battle witnessed nine more ties and five ties in the final 20 minutes of action.

Down one at 86-85 with 1:48 on the clock, William Penn took control in the end with a 9-1 run to wrap up the season sweep of GVU. The final nine points came appropriately from its leading scorer Alec Schwab (Jr., Peru, Ill., Business Management) and second-best scorer Tyler Stahle (So., Bountiful, Utah, Business Management). Schwab finished with his first double-double of the year with 26 points and 12 rebounds. He hit five three-pointers and was perfect at the line (7-for-7), while Stahle hit three trifectas and made five of his six free tries for 20 points to lead WPU’s non-starting group.

William Penn was outshot 43.9%-42.2%, but like usual dominated on the glass with a 50-36 rebounding edge. The navy and gold had eight more offensive boards (14-6) which led to a 16-0 advantage in second-chance points. The home team also committed one less turnover (6-7), but the Vikings held the margin in points off mistakes at 11-6.

The Vikings posted William Penn-like perimeter numbers, going 14-for-30, while the Statesmen were just 12-for-39 from deep. Fortunately, the victors made up for that with 45 free throws (28 makes), whereas GVU was only 15-for-26 at the charity stripe.

Kelly Madison (Jr., Des Moines, Iowa, Physical Education) and Roberts Baltruns (So., Riga, Latvia, Business Management) managed 12 points apiece, while Walker also reached double figures with 11 points and five assists. Erik McGee (Jr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Elementary Education) added nine points Saturday.

William Penn’s postseason begins Wednesday at home as the #2 seed against #7 AIB in the MCC Tournament Quarterfinals. Tip is set for 7 p.m. The Statesmen swept the Eagles this year, winning 98-72 on January 15 and 99-76 on February 12.

Thursday’s other first-round matchups feature #3 Clarke vs. #6 Mount Mercy in Dubuque and #4 Viterbo vs. #5 Grand View in La Crosse, Wis. Top-seeded St. Ambrose receives a first-round bye.

The MCC Tournament bracket can be found at http://www.midwestcollegiateconference.com/d/2014_MBB_Bracket.pdf

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