IUN defeated by Cardinal Stirtch, finish with program best 25 wins
Sioux City, IA – No. 4 seed IU Northwest RedHawks appearing in the 2017 NAIA National Tournament for the first time since 2011 with a program best 25 wins and high hopes for a deep tournament run in tow faced No. 4 seed Cardinal Stritch. Stritch would fend off a a quick RedHawks start and use their defense and outside shooting to defeat IU Northwest 71-57.
IU Northwest opened the game with a 7-2 advantage however the offense went cold and the Stritch outside shooting came alive as the Wolves would end the first quarter on a 17-3 run to take a 19-10 lead.
The RedHawks regained some solid footing in the second quarter however we're still below their usual offensive rhythm versus the sting Stritch defense and found themselves trailing by double digits 35-23 at the break. Another strong quarter b the Wolves led by Wolves point guard Maranda Huibregtse pushed the Wolves lead to 18.
A late RedHawks run cut the Stritch lead to 10 with two minutes remaining, however the lead was too large and with too little time to draw any closer. Huibregtse led all scorers with a season high 25 points on 8-17 shooting with 5 assists. The Wolves entering the game averaging just better than 4.3 made three-point field goals per game connected on 9-18 from long distance and outrebounded the RedHawks 37-26.
IU Northwest was led by senior Nicki Monahan with a team high 17 points with Grayce Roach adding 10 points. It was the final game for seniors Nariman Jaber and four-year players Bernadette Grabowski and Nicki Monahan.
"It was a team goal this year from the start of practices to make it back to Sioux City. We battled the entire season to make it here and along the way set a new program record for wins in a season. We had a great experience and I couldn't me more proud of our team in how each of them individually and together as a team competed and represented our institution and community both on and off the court. We had a great season" said IUN Head Coach Ryan Shelton.
"In the game we wanted to take away their inside game and felt we did a good job of executing that earl with our zone and throughout the game. We didn't rebound well enough, however and make as enough of the good looks that we had. Credit to Stritch for making shots on the perimeter and making some clutch shots at the end of the clock."
For our seniors, particularly Nicki (Monahan) and Bernie (Grabowski) their contributions to our team, program and university and immeasurable and will leave a lasting impact on their teammates, coaches and school for many years to come. The will be missed," added Shelton.
All seven of the RedHawks losses this season came to team that advanced to the Nation Tournament Sweet 16 with four of the seven defeats coming at the hands to teams that would advance to the NAIA Final Four.
The RedHawks' record-breaking season included a program best, 25 wins (25-7) and single season winning percentage as well as a run to the A.I.I. Championship game and their first NAIA National Tournament appearance since 2011.
2016-17 Season Highlights