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Indiana Wesleyan and IU East are both eliminated from national tournament


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Both Indiana Wesleyan University and IU East were ousted from the 2018-19 NAIA Div II National Championship quarterfinals on Saturday.

Ranked No. 1 over all, Indiana Wesleyan was defeated by No. 8 Oregon Tech by a 107-93 score.

IU East fell in its quarterfinal contest to Sping Arbor University, 89-77.


For the first time since the 2015 season, Indiana Wesleyan was unable to advance to the national semifinals.

That was due in large part to an Oregon Tech team that scored 107 points, the most a Wildcat opponent has scored this year. Tech is the only team to reach the century mark against IWU this season. Huntington (Ind.) was the last IWU opponent to score 100 on Feb. 22, 2017 in an overtime game. East-West (Ill.) was the last IWU opponent to reach 100 points in regulation on Nov. 5, 2013.

The 107 points is the most against the Wildcats since Berea (Ky.) scored 108 on Dec. 12, 1998.

Mitchell Fink hit a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer to give the Owls a 47-44 lead at the break. OIT followed with six points in the first minute of the second half to give them nine points in one minute to lead 53-44. Indiana Wesleyan could get no closer than nine points the rest of the afternoon.

Joel Okafor led Wesleyan with 24 points. He was followed by Kyle Mangas with 24. Former Connersville standout Grant Smith was next with 18 points. Smith also added a team-high eight assists.

Indiana Wesleyan ends the 2018-19 season with a 30-6 record and Crossroads League regular season and tournament championships. IWU became just the fifth team in NAIA DII history to win 30 or more games at the national tournament with a Round of 32 win over Washington Adventist (Md.).


Making its four consecutive appearance in the national tournament quarterfinals, Indiana East University had its season come to an end against a hot-shooting Spring Arbor University team.

Following eight ties in the first 12 minutes, Spring Arbor closed the first half with a 16-6 run to take a 45-35 lead into the locker room. The Cougars then scored the first seven points of the second half to extend their lead to 17 points. IU East found itself playing uphill the rest of the afternoon.

Spring Arbor finished with a field goal shooting effort of 60 percent in the game, the best percentage for a Red Wolf opponent since Jan. 1. The Cougars have now shot 60 percent or better from the field in all three of their national tournament games.

Bishop Smith led IU East in scoring with 21 points. Kendall Rollins came off of the bench to add 17 points. Aaron Thomas had 10 rebounds to finish his career with a program-record 1,176 rebounds. Former Connersville Spartan Garrett Silcott finished with 10 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists.

IU East is one of two schools in the nation (Indiana Wesleyan is the other) to reach the quarterfinals at the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship in each of the past four seasons.

The Red Wolves finish the season at 26-9.