FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WKBN) – For the first time in school history, the Mount Union men’s basketball program will be playing in the Division 3 National Semifinal on Thursday against Whitewater.
The Purple Raiders have won 29 games this season and will look to walk away from the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum as champions.
The Purple Raiders feature locals in Mick Hergenrother (Cardinal Mooney), Braedon Poole (McDonald) and Zane Muckleroy (Canfield). Coach Mike Fuline’s staff has a local feel with his uncle Joe Fuline (former Lisbon and Struthers coach) along with Boardman’s Dave Spires.
Whitewater is making its first appearance back to the Final Four in nearly a decade (2014).
The winner will play either Swarthmore (PA) or Christopher Newport (VA) in the Division III National Championship game on Saturday.
2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Division III National Semifinals
Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Wisconsin-Whitewater (25-7) vs. Mount Union (29-2) at Fort Wayne, IN
Scoring Offense: Purple Raiders, 84.0; Warhawks, 80.3
Scoring Defense: Purple Raiders, 69.8; Warhawks, 72.7
Rebounding: Purple Raiders, 38.2; Warhawks, 35.8
Turnovers: Warhawks, 11.7; Purple Raiders, 11.9
Three-Point Percentage: Warhawks, 38.1%; Purple Raiders, 36.4%
Free Throw Percentage: Warhawks, 72.9%; Purple Raiders, 66.5%
Final Four Appearances: Wisconsin-Whitewater, 6 (2023, 2014, 2012, 1989, 1984, 1983)
National Championships: Wisconsin-Whitewater, 4 (2014, 2012, 1989, 1984)
-The Warhawks have won nine games in a row.
-This season, Whitewater has scored 80 points or more in 14 games (13-1).
-Wisconsin-Whitewater has won each of its last three games by a total of 7 points.
-In the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, the Warhawks got by Wabash – 90-83 – behind 26 points from Miles Barnstable. After trailing at halftime (33-30), Whitewater scored 60 in the next 20 minutes to prevail.
-In the second round, Whitewater defeated Case Western Reserve – 78-75 – as Miles Barnstable (27) and Trevon Chislom (21) combined to score 48 points. Barnstable connected on 50% of his 3-point attempts to sink six triples.
-Thanks to Jameer Barker’s two free throws in overtime with six seconds remaining, Whitewater pulled out an 83-82 victory over Johns Hopkins in the regional semifinal round. Five Warhawks’ finished in double-figures with Barker leading the way with 19 points.
-In the regional final, the Warhawks got by Oswego State – 77-74 – to earn their sixth trip to the Final Four. Carter Capstran finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Miles Barnstable closed out the contest with a team-high 23 points.
-Mount Union has won thirteen consecutive games. The Purple Raiders have lost just once since early December – a 2-point setback to John Carroll (74-72).
-Of its 29 wins, Mount Union has scored 75 points or more in 24 of those outings (24-0).
–Mount Union’s Christian Parker (named Region 7 Most Outstanding Player) closed out their first round 73-65 win over Anderson with 22 points and 16 boards. Collen Gurley and Darrell Newsom also contributed 20 and 18 points, respectively.
-In the second round, Mount Union toppled Lancaster Bible – 90-66 – behind the double-digit scoring of five different Raiders (Christian Parker, 22; Jeffery Mansfield, 17; Collen Gurley, 16; Darrell Newsom, 12; Braedon Poole, 12).
-The high-scoring Purple Raiders eclipsed the 100-point plateau as they defeated North Park – 102-85. Nine different Mount Union players scored led by Jeffery Mansfield’s 24. Mansfield, Collen Gurley and Darrell Newsom each hit three triples for their offensive attack.
-In the regional final, Mount Union surged past Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday – 78-67 – to make their first trip to the Final Four in school history. Christian Parker put together a stat line of 26 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots to highlight their clinching victory.
Recent Division III Champions
2022 – Randolph-Macon
2019 – Wisconsin-Oshkosh
2018 – Nebraska-Wesleyan
2017 – Babson
2016 – St. Thomas (MN)
2015 – Wisconsin-Stevens Point
2014 – Wisconsin-Whitewater
2013 – Amherst
2012 – Wisconsin-Whitewater
2011 – St. Thomas (MN)
2010 – Wisconsin-Stevens Point