Big Run Denies WPU of Chance to Muddy MCC Race

William Penn University Athletics

William Penn University Athletics

Dubuque–The Statesmen men’s basketball failed to break through against Clarke’s 2-3 zone with a cold shooting performance in falling 88-68 in Midwest Collegiate Conference action Monday.

Despite having two extra days to prepare for its foe due to a weather postponement, William Penn (11-7, 1-2 MCC) shot just 36.2% overall and 25.9% from behind the arc. Monday was a matchup that featured two squads receiving votes in the latest NAIA Division II poll.

The lead seesawed in the opening ten minutes, but the Crusaders (13-6, 4-0 MCC) took the edge for good at 13-11 to remain the only undefeated squad in the league. St. Ambrose and Mount Mercy have one conference loss apiece.

The visitors, who trailed 37-30 at halftime, cut CU’s lead to two several times in the second half. WPU remained in the contest for quite a while longer, but unfortunately, at the 7:22 mark, the hosts began a 15-0 run over a span of 2:34 that determined the outcome. Clarke finished the day at 49.2% from the floor, highlighted by a 63.0% second-half clip.

Neither side had much success from behind the arc (CU held the advantaged 28.6%-25.9%), while Clarke gained an edge at the charity stripe by going 18-for-26 (WPU was 11-for-17).

Tyler Stahle (So., Bountiful, Utah, Business Management) paced the Statesmen scoring with 14 points, while Kelly Madison (Jr., Des Moines, Iowa, Physical Education) had 13. Alec Schwab (Jr., Peru, Ill., Business Management), in his first action since the break, hit a team-best three-pointers on his way to 11 points off the bench.

Erik McGee (Jr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Elementary Education) added eight points with 12 rebounds, but he was the only player with more than five boards. William Penn was outrebounded 46-39.

Blake Walker (Sr., Rose Garden, Physical Education) and Logan Alexander (So., Eddyville, Iowa, Undecided) each finished with six points in the loss. Walker also tallied five assists and two steals.

The Statesmen committed three more turnovers than Clarke, 17-14, leading to an 18-10 Crusader advantage in points off turnovers.

Next: William Penn travels to La Crosse, Wis. Wednesday to face Viterbo in MCC play at 7:30 p.m.

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