The 2013-14 regular season is in the books, and a wild Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament kicks off this Sunday afternoon, as the Truman men's basketball team plays host to Illinois Springfield at 3 p.m. in Pershing Arena.
The Bulldogs (20-6) head to their second straight conference tournament appearance - and first as a member of the GLVC - after locking down the No. 5 seed with an 89-85 win against Quincy on Thursday night.
Senior Mike Carlson jumped two more spots up to No. 8 on the career scoring chart with his second 40-point outburst of the season, as the Wisconsin-native's 40 led three Bulldogs in double-figures past the Hawks.
Illinois Springfield, meanwhile, capitalized on Truman's four-point win against QU by jumping past the Hawks into the conference tournament with a 78-61 home victory against McKendree on Thursday night.
The Prairie Stars got a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double from forward Dylan Sparkman, while Jamall Millison added 15 points.
It's been nearly two months since the squads last met, with the Bulldogs earning a 76-70 home victory against UIS on January 9. Carlson led all players with 33 points and 13 rebounds, while three other Bulldogs - Reed Mells, Seth Jackson, and Andrew Vander Zwaag - all reached double-figures on the offensive end. Regan Bruenger scored 22 points for UIS, while Jacob Williams - who is no longer on the Prairie Stars roster - added 16 points.
With a win, the Bulldog men will advance to the GLVC quarterfinals to face fourth-seeded Lewis (Ill.) at 12 pm (CDT) on Friday, March 7, at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.
Head coach Matt Woodley is in his third season at the helm of the Bulldog program, having posted a 38-43 record during his time in Kirksville.
Found: 20 Wins!:
This year's Bulldog team became the first to win 20 games since the 2005-06 team capped its season with a 20-9 record.
That squad was also the last Truman team to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Only five previous Bulldog teams - 1946-47 (30-2), 1947-48 (29-2), 1978-79 (20-9), 1998-99 (26-7), 2005-06 (20-9) - reached the 20-win mark in a season, and with a win on Sunday, the 2013-14 squad will mark the fourth-highest win total in single-season school history.
In addition, the Bulldogs' 13 conference wins this season set a new program record, as only two other Bulldog teams reached the dozen win mark during their respective conference slates.
The Truman Women's Basketball team will compete in their fourth-straight conference postseason tournament, this time under the Great Lakes Valley Conference banner, when they host William Jewell (Mo.) College at 1:00 p.m. in Pershing Arena on Sunday.
About the Bulldogs (18-8; 12-6 GLVC)
This will be the 13th overall conference tournament appearance for the Bulldogs as they enter the tournament as the seventh seed, tying for sixth but losing a tie-break with the University of Southern Indiana.
Despite the Bulldogs regular season home win over the Screaming Eagles, they were broke the tie by virtue of their road win at the University of Indianapolis while Truman lost at UIndy.
The Bulldogs broke a two-game losing streak by bouncing nationally-ranked Quincy (Ill.) 70-59 on Thursday night.
Amy Briggs notched a career-high and her second-straight 20-point game by scoring 27 to lead Truman to the win. It was the lowest point total on the season for the Lady Hawks.
Quincy trimmed a nine-point lead down to two but an 8-0 run sparked by a Bianca Szafarowicz put back held the Lady Hawks off.
Truman entered the week third in the nation and first in the GLVC in three-point shooting at 40.4% and fifth in the country and first in the conference in free throw percentage at 78.5%.
They are second in the conference in scoring offense at 81.0 points per game and for the first time in school history, feature five players averaging 10 points or more per game in both overall and league games.
Allie Norton leads the group at 13.4 and 14.1 respectively followed by Amy Briggs (12.8/13.7), Nicole Gloor (12.1/12.4), Bianca Szafarowicz (12.1/12.2) and Courtney Strait (11.0/12.3).
The team shoots 43% from the field with opponents shooting 42% overall, 36% from three and 73% from the line.
Truman vs. William Jewell (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. â?? Kirksville, Mo.)
Series History: The Bulldogs grabbed a 2-1 series lead with their 83-75 victory in Liberty on January 25. Allie Norton scored 21 points and Bianca Szafarowicz had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Truman outscored the Cardinals 14-5 over the final five minutes to grab their first lead and hold on for the win.
The teams split a pair of games in 1988 and 1989 while playing at the Washburn Thanksgiving Tournament in Topeka, Kan.
The Cardinals won in 1988 86-69 with the Bulldogs returning the next year to win 82-73 in the only other meetings between the two schools.
William Jewell Last Time Out:
The Cardinals have dropped three of their last four games including an 87-80 road loss at Rockhurst on Thursday night.
William Jewell had eight triples and shot over 60% in the first half but missed all 12 three-point attempts in the second and were held to just 33% in the final 20 minutes in the loss.
Chelsea Meeks led a trio of Cardinals in double-figures with 19 points and had seven steals.
Great Lakes Valley Conference Basketball Tournament
The top 12 in both the menâ??s and womenâ??s standings will earn a spot in the 2014 Deaconess GLVC Basketball Championship.
The top four seeds on each side receive a first round bye while seeds, five through eight will host nine through 12 in first round games on campus sites.
First Round Games: (Pershing Arena, Kirksville, Mo.)
1:00 p.m. Truman Women vs. William Jewell College Cardinals
3:00 p.m. Truman Men vs. University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars
Tickets for first round games can be purchased at the door, 1 hour prior to game time.
Tickets are $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for students and seniors (60+). Truman Students (w/ID) will be admitted free of charge.
No season passes, pass lists or Alumni cards will be accepted.
Following the conclusion of the games,
Trumanâ??s allotment of tickets for the tournament games played at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. will be available in Pershing Arena (cash or check only).
$35.00 â?? All-Tournament Pass (Good for all 7 Sessions)
$25.00 â?? Session Flex Pass (Good for any 2 of the first 6 Sessions)
$15.00 â?? Single-Session Tickets
$8.00 â?? Students w/Valid ID
FREE â?? Children 6 and Under
Tickets can be purchased online via Ticketmaster or by calling 1-800-745-3000
Courtesy Truman State University