Athletic Dubuque team stymies men’s basketball

by Brock Borgeson

INDIANOLA, Iowa – An 18-win University of Dubuque team completed a two-game sweep against Simpson this season, winning 78-65 after downing the Storm by 36 back in January.

Lucas Ware had 17 points as Gage Haffernan has a 17 point, 12 rebound double-double to lead the Spartans past Simpson, who never lead after relinquishing their 11-10 with 13:14 left in the first half.

“At the end of the day we are a young team that is still learning how to win,” head coach Charles Zanders said. “In the second half we got within 11 points but we lost the game in points off of turnovers and second chance points. That Haffernan kid is a baller, and they’re a senior laden program that knows how to win.”

Despite trailing by as many as 10 in the first half, Simpson bounced back to only trail 26-25 after a Jamie Montgomery 3-pointer with 1:50 remaining in the first half.

A 7-0 flurry from the Spartans gave Dubuque (18-4, 8-3) a 33-25 lead at the half.

Eight points is the closest Simpson (6-16, 1-10) got the rest of the way as Ware scored 15 second half points to give Dubuque a 13-point victory, after leading by as many as 19-points in the second half.

Simpson hung with the Spartans in many statistical categories although a 44-26 drubbing in points in the paint was a major difference in the game.

Charles Swain came off the bench for the first time this season as sophomore Ryan Skaar took his role, not disappointing as he scored 15 points in 29 minutes on 4-8 shooting.

“He started out forcing things a little bit, but then time went on and he let things come to him a little bit,” Zanders said.

Freshman Jamie Montgomery drained a career-high three 3-pointers and Austin Turner added eight points.

Freshman Sam Amsbaugh also added seven points off the bench.

“I’ve said this all along, our freshman group is a great group of guys,” Zanders said. “They’re going to be good as they grow into our system.”

Both Dillon Gretzky and DJ Dafney reeled in six rebounds although together they combined for only 10 points.

Dubuque got the majority of their scoring from four of their five starters. Andre Norris scored 14 points to go along with six rebounds as Brandon Ferguson added 13 points to round out the Dubuque starting five.

With the loss Simpson is nearly eliminated from the IIAC Tournament as they sit three games behind sixth-seeded Loras College with three games remaining.

This final three game stretch will begin at 4 p.m. this Saturday in Storm Lake.

“They have a difficult time matching up with us because they don’t match up with our speed well,” Zanders said.

The Beavers obviously had a difficult time with this last time out as the Storm earned their lone IIAC win this season against Buena Vista at home on Jan. 10.