Season Ends For Wartburg Men In Sweet 16 [Videos]
After upsetting two top 10 teams in the Division III NCAA Tournament, the Wartburg men's basketball team finally encountered an opponent it couldn't conquer. Augustana (Ill.) ended the Knights' impressive post-season run to the Sweet 16 with an 80-69 comeback victory over Wartburg in Holland, Mich., Friday night (March 10, 2017).
The Vikings stopped Wartburg's impressive seven-game winning streak, which included NCAA victories over No. 10 Benedictine and 4th-ranked Wisconsin-River Falls last week following an Iowa Conference tournament championship as the No. 6 seed. The Knights close their season at 21-10.
The Sweet 16 battle featured a tale of two halves.
Hot-shooting Wartburg controlled the opening 20 minutes, taking an early 5-2 lead on a Nate Woeste three-pointer at the 17:42 mark. Camden Kickbush's three-pointer with 3:24 left gave the Knights their biggest advantage at 31-22 and his layup less than a minute later equaled the nine-point margin again at 33-24. Augustana then closed the half with a 9-3 run, cutting Wartburg's lead to 36-33 at intermission.
The Knights shot .500 from the field and .667 from beyond the arc in the first half.
The final 20 minutes of the game, however, belonged to Augustana. The Vikings out-shot Wartburg .583-to-.321 from the field and outscored the Knights 47-33 to secure the win at Hope College's DeVos Fieldhouse.
Brandon Schattner's three-pointer from the top of the key with 16 minutes to play put Augustana ahead 43-42, giving the Vikings their first edge since 2-0. The score was tied at 49-all with 10:04 remaining when Augustana went on a 6-0 run over the next two minutes and never relinquished the lead.
Wartburg was paced by leading scorer Jordan Cannon, who had 17 points and five rebounds. Jaran Sabus followed with 13 points and also had five boards. Augustana out-rebounded the Knights 46-to-32.
The Vikings came into the Sweet 16 match-up having knocked off defending national champion St Thomas (Minn.) in the first-round and No. 22 Wisconsin-Whitewater in the second round. Augustana improved to 22-8 on the year with its win over Wartburg and advanced to the quarterfinal round against 12th-ranked Hanover (26-3) on Saturday (March 11). The Vikings are the only Division III team to reach the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight each of the last three years.
Game Highlights vs. Augustana (Ill.)
Post-Game Press Conference
Videos Courtesy Wartburg Knights via YouTube