Saturday, January 19, 2019
SCHEDULING NOTE: Kirkwood's ICCAC basketball doubleheader scheduled for Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. has been pushed back to 3 and 5 p.m....
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor
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Mount Mercy University - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Mustangs snap 7-game slide

The Mount Mercy women's basketball team snapped a seven-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 72-65 victory over Harris-Stowe State at the Hennessey Recreation Center.

The Mustangs (4-7) had not won a ballgame since Nov. 6, a five-week drought that included a 23-point loss to Harris-Stowe in Missouri, so revenge was sweet.

Brianna Thomas popped in six 3-pointers and led Mount Mercy with 22 points. She hit a triple with 7:01 left to snap a 53-53 tie and give the Mustangs the lead for good and start a 9-0 run.

Harris-Stowe (4-5) pulled within 62-60 and 65-62, but Mount Mercy finished the victory.

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Mustangs trimmed by Nazarene, 86-83

OLATHE, Kan. - Bailey Basala had a chance to be a hero for the Mount Mercy Mustangs for the second time in six days Saturday, but this time his 3-pointer in the final seconds did not ring true.

The Mustangs lost to MidAmerica Nazarene, 86-83, in a Heart of America Conference game when Basala missed a 3-pointer with three seconds left that could have forced overtime.

This past Monday, Basala canned a 3-pointer with a half-second remaining to give Mount Mercy a 93-90 victory over St. Ambrose.

Basala hit five triples Saturday and led the Mustangs (5-5, 2-4) with 17 points off the bench. Dennis McKinney scored 16 points, Mychael Brawner-Henley 14 and Antwain Strong 10.

Mount Mercy fell behind by 15 points in the first half, but fought back and held several small leads in the contest.

McKinney gave the Mustangs an 80-79 lead with 3:55 remaining with a 3-pointer, then he gave the Mustangs an 83-81 advantage with another triple with 2:16 left.

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Mount Mercy women drop 7th in row

OLATHE, Kan. - The Mount Mercy women's basketball team lost its seventh straight game Saturday with a 73-60 setback against sixth-ranked MidAmerica Nazarene in a Heart of America Conference ballgame in Kansas.

Brianna Thomas popped in four 3-pointers and scored 18 points for the Mustangs (3-7, 0-6). Sarah Moffett added 15 points.

Jovana Jovovic pumped in 21 points for MidAmerica Nazarene (10-1, 7-0).

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Basala's clutch '3' lifts Mustangs

Mount Mercy Coach Aaron Jennings likes his team's chances when they need a clutch 3-pointer to win a ballgame in the final second.

It's called confidence.

Bailey Basala drilled a 3-pointer with 5-tenths of a second remaining Monday night to snap a 90-90 tie and give the Mustangs a dramatic 93-90 victory over St. Ambrose in a non-conference game at the Hennessey Recreation Center.

Antwain Strong found Basala with a perfect pass with a few seconds left and the 6-foot-5 sophomore from Moline, Ill., let it fly with perfect rhythm and touch.

"Antwain was driving to the hoop. I knew he was going to find me," said Basala. "He always does. Always."

Mount Mercy, which leads the NAIA in 3-point shooting, made 18 against St. Ambrose, matching the second-most in school history. The Mustangs broke the school record when they made 22 against Viterbo in the season opener this year.

Jennings uses a version of the "Princeton Offense" that he learned while playing for Bill Carmody at Northwestern. It stresses ball movement, back-door cuts and open shots on the perimeter.

College basketball is faster now and more wide-open than when Jennings played at Northwestern, and he's tweaked the "Princeton Offense" so his players can let it rip.

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Mustang men trimmed by Baker

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. - The Mount Mercy men's basketball team staged a big rally Saturday afternoon, but the final five seconds slipped away in an 83-81 loss to Baker University.

The Mustangs trailed by 14 points, 58-44, with 14:26 left, but they stormed all the way back and took an 81-80 lead on a 3-pointer by Dennis McKinney with 31 seconds remaining.

Brandon Clifford scored for Baker with five seconds left to give the hosts an 82-81 advantage. Mount Mercy committed a turnover with four seconds left and fouled Baker with three seconds to go.

Baker made the first free throw for an 83-81 edge. Baker missed the second foul shot, but Mount Mercy knocked the rebound out of bounds and missed its final opportunity.

It was the second tough loss this season for the Mustangs, who fell 75-74 at St. Ambrose earlier this year.

Bailey Basala led Mount Mercy with 18 points. McKinney finished with 15 points. Emilio Villagrana scored 12 points and Mychael Brawner-Henley had 11 points. Mohammed Albagami contributed nine points and eight rebounds.

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