One half of the 2017 Horizon League Basketball Championships semifinals are set after a thrilling quarterfinal round Saturday at Joe Louis Arena. On the women’s side, top-seeded Green Bay and No. 2 seed Wright State posted convincing wins. The men’s quarterfinals were filled with last-second drama as No. 9 Youngstown State continued its upset run with a buzzer-beating lay-in to knock off No. 1 Oakland. Milwaukee, the No. 10 seed, was able to defend a pair of 3-point shot attempts in the final seconds to slip by No. 2 Valparaiso.
(10) Milwaukee 43, (2) Valparaiso 41 (men
DETROIT | Cody Wichmann had 11 points, including a 3-pointer with 3:59 remaining, that helped lift No. 10 Milwaukee to a 43-41 win over No. 2 Valparaiso in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championships on Saturday.
Milwaukee’s win came on the heels of No. 9 Youngstown State upsetting top-seeded Oakland earlier in the night at Joe Louis Arena. The top two seeds in the Horizon League tournament have now failed to win a game in three of the last four years.
The Panthers will face the winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal contest between No. 3 Green Bay and No. 6 UIC in semifinal action on Monday night.
Wichmann had a chance to ice the game at the line for the Panthers, but the senior missed the front end of a one-and-one, allowing the Crusaders to get a final opportunity to win the game or send it to overtime. Max Joseph missed a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Both teams struggled offensively on Saturday night as the Panthers led 16-12 at halftime. It was the least amount of points that Valparaiso had scored in a half in 17 years.
Valparaiso captured its first lead of the game when freshman walk-on John Kiser scored to make it 28-27 with 10:46 remaining. The Panthers responded with an 8-0 run, capped off by Wichmann converting on three straight free throws after he was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. The Crusaders cut the deficit to three points, but Wichmann hit his second 3-pointer of the half with 3:59 remaining to hold off Valparaiso.
Kiser and Tevonn Walker led the Crusaders with eight points each. Valparaiso was playing its third straight game without the services of Horizon League Player of the Year Alec Peters (foot).
(9) Youngstown State 81, (1) Oakland 80 (men)
DETROIT | Jorden Kaufman hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to send No. 9 Youngstown State to a 81-80 win over top-seeded Oakland in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championships on Saturday night.
Kaufman took a pass from Cameron Morse and found himself all alone under the basket, laying the ball in as the clock expired. The officials conferred for several moments before confirming the shot.
The Penguins (13-20) will play the winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal contest between No. 4 Northern Kentucky and No. 5 Wright State in Monday night’s semifinals.
Morse had a game-high 34 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes of action. Kaufman had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Penguins avenged two regular-season defeats at the hands of the Golden Grizzlies.
Jalen Hayes had 27 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Golden Grizzlies, but the All-Horizon League player missed a front end of a one-and-one that could’ve stretched Oakland’s lead to three points with 11.1 seconds remaining. Martez Walker had 22 points and four rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.
The Golden Grizzlies have lost in their first conference tournament game in three of their first four years in the Horizon League. Oakland entered Motor City Madness as the No. 2 seed last season and fell in the semifinals before getting knocked out as the top seed in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Oakland became the second No. 1 seed to fall in conference tournament action this season after Belmont lost to Jacksonville State in the Ohio Valley semifinals on Friday night.
(2) Wright State 79, (10) UIC 52 (women)
DETROIT | Chelsea Welch scored 18 points to lead four Wright State players in double figures as the No. 2 Raiders beat No. 10 UIC 79-52 in the 2017 Horizon League Women’s Basketball Championship quarterfinals on Saturday.
The Raiders (24-7) will play the winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal matchup between No. 3 Detroit Mercy and No. 6 Cleveland State on Monday in semifinal action.
Wright State used a 15-2 run that spread throughout the first and second quarters to turn a close game into a blowout. Lexi Smith hit two free throws late in the first quarter to stretch Wright State’s lead to double figures and the Flames were never able to get closer the rest of the way.
The Raiders forced UIC into 27 turnovers and they took advantage of the miscues by scoring a season-high 34 points off turnovers. Welch had four steals and four assists to go along with her team-high 18 points and sophomore Emily Vogelpohl added 15 points, six rebounds and five steals.
Smith had 12 points and seven rebounds while Symone Simmons added 11 points and five rebounds to round out the Wright State players in double figures.
Taylor Toney scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Flames (6-25) while leading scorer Brittany Byrd was limited to just five points on 2-10 shooting from the floor.
(1) Green Bay 89, (9) Valparaiso 60
DETROIT | Jessica Lindstorm scored 20 points, including 15 in the first quarter as No. 1 Green Bay used an early 19-2 run to pull away from No. 9 Valparaiso in a 89-60 win at the 2017 Horizon League Women’s Basketball Championships on Saturday.
The Phoenix (25-5) will play the winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal game between No. 4 Oakland and No. 5 Milwaukee in semifinal action on Monday afternoon.
Lindstorm hit all five of her shots in the first quarter, including three 3-pointers, as the Phoenix turned an early 4-2 disadvantage into a 23-6 lead. Lindstorm scored 12 of Green Bay’s 19 points during the scoring run. The Phoenix continued to pour it on in the second quarter, scoring the first nine points of the quarter and then adding a 19-3 run to stretch its advantage to 60-20 with just over a minute remaining in the half.
The Phoenix scored 31 points off Valparaiso’s 10 turnovers and outrebounded the Crusaders 35-25. Green Bay had 17 offensive rebounds and owned a 23-2 advantage in second chance points.
Green Bay’s 89 points represented its most in a Horizon League tournament game since the Phoenix beat Wright State 95-65 on Mar. 11, 2011
Allison Schofield had a career-high 17 points to lead the Crusaders (10-21) while Dani Franklin added 14 points and four rebounds.