For the second Wednesday in a row, the Wartburg Knights basketball teams came away with a sweep over an Iowa Conference opponent.
This week’s sweep came over the Loras Duhawks on the road in Dubuque. The women’s team had their closest win of the season 88-83 while the men’s team scored over 100 points for the first time since the middle of December. They beat Loras by a final score of 104-85.
In the first half of Wednesday night’s double header, the women were faced with a challenge they have not had to face since early on in the season. They were forced to play without star defensive center Aryn Jones who missed the game due to injury.
Coming into the game it looked like the Knights would struggle in the post without Jones to go against the two time IIAC Defensive Player of the Year Lori Obendorf, but Wartburg found a way to success. Mostly constantly rotating different players in at the center position to keep fresh legs on the court.
The Knights largely contained Obendorf and Terese McMahon, holding the Duhawks’ leading scorers to a combined 18 points. By doubling down on the post duo, Wartburg was able to sustain a career night from backup guard Lauren Stanich who finished with 30 points.
Their offense was led by the play of starting point guard Katie Sommer who finished with a game high 24 points and also had five rebounds and four assists to her credit as well. Sommer also moved into second place all-time in program history for career assists.
Sommer was joined in double digit scoring by Kristie Sommer, Morgan Neuendorf and Miranda Murphy.
The win was the first one for the Knights all season that was less than double digits.
The men’s team had a very different path towards victory, getting out to a double digit lead early and eventually coasting to a nearly 20 point win.
Coming off a loss last time the two teams played, Wartburg needed to get out to a much better start in this game, which is exactly what they did.
Loras took it’s first lead when it was 3-2 with 18:58 left in the first half, they would never lead again.
It was a complete team effort and was the best the Knights’ offense has looked in over a month, scoring over 100 points for the first time since Dec. 11 against UW-Eau Claire.
Like the women’s team, the men had to withstand a huge scoring outburst from a Duhawk guard. Justin VanWambeke helped keep Loras in the game for much of the night, but even his 30 points were not enough to keep up with the Wartburg offense.
Five different Knights scored in double figures, led by the point guard duo of Nick Webber, 20 points, and Cam Kickbush, career high 16 points.
The win kept Wartburg in a 3-way tie for 4th place in the conference after Simpson lost and Dubuque won.
The next game for the two teams will be Saturday, Feb. 4 on the road against the Central Dutch