|Graceland University 20-11||30||31||61|
|William Penn (Iowa) 28-3||39||38||77|
|Mar. 4, 2017|
|Graceland University||Indv. Leaders||William Penn (Iowa)|
|#2 LT Davis - 19||Points||#20 Jarvis Haywood - 20|
|2 Players (#10,#24) - 6||Rebounds||#3 Lionel Ellison - 9|
|#10 Carl Martin - 6||Assists||#3 Lionel Ellison - 5|
|Graceland University||Team Statistics||William Penn (Iowa)|
|34.3% (23 - 67)||Field Goals %||46.8% (29 - 62)|
|32.4% (11 - 34)||3 Point Field Goals %||40.9% (9 - 22)|
|66.7% (4 - 6)||Free Throws||58.8% (10 - 17)|
|23||2nd Chance Pts||12|
OSKALOOSA, IA - Graceland University scored 23 second chance points, but were defeated on the road in the semifinals of the Heart of America Conference Tournament to William Penn 77-61.
Head Coach Craig Doty said, "I am proud of this group. They were picked to finish 10th in our 14 team conference and were one of the final four teams standing. They won 20 games. They were either receiving votes or nationally ranked for a majority of season. We finished realistically two wins away from an at-large bid to the national tournament. In a season with 26 out of 30 contests being conference games, this is impressive on the part of our student-athletes. They have no reason to hangs their head, especially the five seniors. They led us to the best season at Graceland since the 1996-97 season. They made us all proud.
The two teams looked to settle in at the start of the first half, as William Penn led 10-7 at the 12:28 mark. With the Statesmen ahead 14-9, Frank Cimino swished a trey from the right wing, the score 14-12.
Later, William Penn used an 8-0 run to lead at 26-17 with just under five minutes to play in the first half. After both teams posted baskets. The Jackets scored back-to-back triples to bring the deficit to within six (29-23).
Less than a minute to go, the Yellowjackets looked to get a quick bucket in transition. The initial shot didn't, fall, but LT Davis came up with the board and put-back (38-30). Graceland trailed William Penn 39-30 at the break.
After halftime, William Penn maintained a nine-point edge at 44-37. Then just over five minutes into the second half Will Nelson came up with a huge hustle play on the offensive glass, as LT Davis capitalized with a triple bringing the contest to 46-40.
Graceland continued to fight. Will Nelson drove through traffic, counting a reverse lay-up to bring the score to three. Davis splashed another triple on the next possession, cutting the margin to two (55-53) midway through the half.
WPU went on a run to go ahead 70-57 with 3:48 on the clock. Graceland was unable recover, falling in the semifinals of the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament 77-61.
William Penn went 29-for-62 from the floor (46.8 percent), including 40.9 percent (9-22) from beyond the arc. Graceland was limited to 23-of-67 (34.3 percent), knocking down 11-of-34 (32.4 percent) three-pointers. The Statesmen counted 11 points off turnovers, as Graceland posted 23-second chance points. WPU received 45 points off the bench.
LT Davis highlighted the Yellowjackets with 19 points, counting five triples. RJ Williams also recorded 14 points. Carl Martin and Jeremy Deemer pulled down six rebounds each. Martin also dished out six assists.
For the Statesmen, Jarvis Haywood came off the bench to lead the team with 20 points. Torren Jones added 12 points. Lionell Ellison marked a game-high nine rebounds, while he dished out five assists.
Men's basketball ended with a mark of 20-12. Graceland finished conference with a record of 16-10. The season was highlighted by the first NAIA Division 1 ranking in program history (No. 24). The ranking is the first national ranking for the Yellowjackets since holding the No. 21 spot in the NAIA Division II poll on Feb. 4, 1997. The Jackets also boasted a seven game-conference win streak.
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