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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Mount Mercy University - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Alex Houston signs with CourtKings

Alex Houston of Mount Mercy University has signed to play pro basketball this season with the Cedar Valley CourtKings in Waterloo.

Houston, a 6-foot-5 senior, was named a third team NAIA All-American after helping the Mustangs reach the Sweet 16 of the national tournament this year. He also was named first team all-conference in the Association of Independent Institutions and was the MVP of the conference tournament.

Houston led Mount Mercy (26-8) at 15.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

“Alex is another great addition to our team,” said CourtKings Owner/GM Gary Rima. “He just finished up an outstanding college career at Mount Mercy and we are excited to have him in a CourtKings uniform. He is a leader and team player and brings it at both ends of the floor.”

Houston played his high school basketball in Chicago at Chicago Hope.

Houston is the fifth player from Mount Mercy on the CourtKings roster. He joins former Mustangs Rashad Carrington, Alex Coleman, LaDon Singleton and Lamar Wall.

Gage Heffernan, who began his college career at Kirkwood, also is on the roster. Coleman also played at Kirkwood.

The CourtKings will play their home opener in the Midwest Basketball League on Sunday, May 15 at 7:30 pm at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex at 300 Jefferson Street in Waterloo.

Season tickets are available online at


No. 14 Mustangs ousted by No. 1 Saint Francis

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - The Mount Mercy men's basketball team fell behind by 16 points in the first half Friday and lost to top-ranked Saint Francis of Indiana, 89-82, in the Sweet 16 of the NAIA Division II tournament.

Mount Mercy reached the Sweet 16 for the second straight year and finished the campaign at 26-8.

The Mustangs pulled within nine points in the second half, but Saint Francis surged back in front by 16 points with a little more than two minutes remaining to secure the victory. The Mustangs hit four 3-pointers in the final 90 seconds, but the seven-point final margin was as close as they got.

"We couldn't catch up," said Mount Mercy coach Aaron Jennings. "They're a good team. They came in with the No. 1 for a reason."

Saint Francis (30-4) will face Keiser (30-4) in the Elite 8 on Saturday.

Alex Houston led Mount Mercy with 22 points. Tre Wagner scored 16 points and Ben Struss had 10.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 March 2016 17:10



Mount Mercy rallies to win NAIA opener in OT

The Mount Mercy men's basketball team lived dangerously at the NAIA Division II national tournament Wednesday morning but survived to play another day.

The 14th-ranked Mustangs rallied from a 15-point deficit and trimmed No. 17 Southern Oregon, 98-97, in the opening round at Keeter Gymnasium in Point Lookout, Mo.

Alex Houston scored on a tip-in with nine seconds left in overtime to give Mount Mercy the go-ahead points. Ben DeSaulnier missed a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have won the game for Southern Oregon.

Mount Mercy (26-7) will face top-ranked Saint Francis (Ind.), which moved to 30-4  with a 96-81 win Wednesday over Dakota State, in the Sweet 16 Friday at 10:15 a.m.

The Mustangs fell behind by 15 points in the first half and trailed 58-47 at intermission against the Raiders, who reached the Elite 8 of the NAIA tournament last March.

"They are just really good," said Mount Mercy Coach Aaron Jennings. "They came out hot. They were hitting tough shots, they were hitting open shots. They kind of had us on our heels. We just couldn't quite keep up.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 March 2016 16:20



Mims named Mount Mercy women's coach

Micha Mims, a 2012 graduate of Mount Mercy University, will return to her alma mater to lead the Mustang women's basketball program beginning March 15, Athletics Director Paul Gavin announced Monday.

"It's a thrill to bring Micha back home where she belongs," said Gavin. "She is a great choice for our university and has the personality, passion and drive to lead us in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, both now and for years to come."

Mims returns to Mount Mercy after serving as the assistant women's basketball coach at Culver-Stockton College (Mo.) in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. In two seasons with the Wildcats, she helped rejuvenate a program that won just four games the season prior to her arrival.

Culver-Stockton achieved its first 20-win season in 16 years last season, finishing 20-10 in 2014-15. The Wildcats also earned their first postseason win since 2005, defeating Missouri Valley in the quarterfinals of the Heart of America Women's Basketball Tournament. Culver-Stockton followed that with another 20-win season this year, finishing 22-9 overall.

Prior to join the staff at Culver-Stockton, Mims served as the graduate assistant women's basketball coach at Southwest Minnesota State University from 2012-14, where she earned a Master's degree in business administration. She graduated from Mount Mercy in 2012 with Bachelor of Science degrees in business marketing and business management.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 March 2016 11:55



Let's hit the road with Mustangs, Eagles

I wish I had a deep bank account and the time to travel during the next two weeks.

If I did, I'd follow the Mount Mercy and Kirkwood men's basketball teams to their national tournaments and watch some of the best action this side of March Madness itself.

The 14th-ranked Mustangs (25-7) will be playing in the NAIA Division II national tournament in Point Lookout, Mo., this week. The 32-team tournament begins Wednesday and ends with the championship game March 15 on ESPN3.

The sixth-ranked Kirkwood Eagles (27-4) will be playing in the NJCAA Division II national tournament in Danville, Ill., next week. That 16-team event begins March 15 and ends March 19.

What a glorious trip that would be. Mount Mercy and Kirkwood have exciting, high-scoring teams that could do some serious damage in their national events, although they'll be facing some very serious competition.

If Mount Mercy beats Southern Oregon in the first round Wednesday, they might have to face top-ranked Saint Francis (Ind.) in the second round on Friday. The Mustangs are capable of beating anyone and that game could be a real humdinger.



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