Mount Marty was picked 9th in the preseason GPAC standings. Tonight, the Lancers upset No. 1 seed Olivet Nazarene 98-76 to move on to the semifinals. The Lancers held the Tigers to their lowest point total of the season and with the win, will make their first semifinal appearance in school history.
“I didn’t think we were underdogs. I even had someone tell me that no one in the building thought we would win tonight,” Alex Kneeland said. “We didn’t need anybody to think that, because we knew we had a shot. It’s us against the world and we’ve been winning.”
Logan Wagner led the Lancers with 18 points on 7 of 9 shooting. Raquel Setura also added 11 points and nine rebounds. Jayne Stuart led the Tigers with 18 points.
It was Mount Marty that impressed in the first half against the Tigers of Olivet Nazarene. The Lancers came out firing and received significant production from multiple players. Raquel Setura led the Lancers with eight first half points on 2 of 4 shooting. Kellie Winckler and Erica Dreckman also added seven points apiece. The Lancers shot 52 percent on from the field on 16 of 31 shooting, while shooting 43 percent from three-point range.
The Tigers were limited offensively, shooting just 30 percent on 12 of 14 from the field and 21 percent from behind the arc on 6 of 28 shooting. Hengesbach kept the Tigers in the game in the first half, with nine points on 4 of 5 shooting. Ally Giampapa also added seven points on 2 of 9 shooting.
The Tigers forced 11 turnovers in the half, but were bothered by foul trouble. Olivet Nazarene tallied 15 team fouls at the break, while Mount Marty committed just nine. A lone bright spot for the Tigers came in the form of second-chance points, which is something they’re accustomed to. The Tigers outscored the Lancers nine to four in second chance points, but were down 47-36 at halftime.
Olivet Nazarene’s woes continued in the second half, where they were constantly in foul trouble and struggled to hit the three ball. The heart and soul of the Tigers, Abbey Hengesbach, fouled out of the game at the 2:41 mark in the third quarter. Logan Wagner, Winckler and Kneeland hit three shots on back-to-back-to-back possessions and the Lancers went up 16. They took a 81-62 lead into the fourth quarter.
During the fourth quarter, the rout was on. Olivet Nazarene kept shooting in volume, but Mount Marty was too far ahead. The team effort tonight encapsulated what this Lancers team has been like all season.
“This is a team we’re really comfortable with. I think they’re comfortable with the coaching staff,” Mount Marty Head Coach Tom Schlimgen said. “We said coming in here that we think we’re as good as anyone.”
Mount Marty will have a chance to again prove the doubters wrong, this time against No. 3 seed Marian (Ind.) at 6 p.m. on Monday in the semifinals.