CEDAR RAPIDS — After leading by four at halftime, the 12th-ranked NIACC women’s basketball team was shut down by top-ranked Kirkwood, only mustering 16 second half points in a 65-52 loss in the Region XI Division II championship game in Cedar Rapids Sunday, as you heard on AM-1300 KGLO. The Lady Trojans led 23-19 at the end of the first quarter and 36-32 at halftime, but only scored four points in the third quarter, allowing 21 points to let Kirkwood take a 53-40 lead at the end of the third quarter. NIACC was hampered by shooting only 29-percent from the floor, including going only 4-of-35 from three-point range. NIACC coach Todd Ciochetto says it was a disappointing way to end the season.
Ciochetto says despite only scoring four points in the third quarter, he felt Kirkwood started taking control late in the second quarter.
After the game Ciochetto praised his eight sophomores for all they had done for the team.
Mikayla Homola led NIACC with 21 points while UU Longs added eight. Both players were selected to the all-tournament team. NIACC ends their season with a record of 26-7, while the defending national champion Kirkwood is now 31-3 and will play in the national tournament next week in Harrison Arkansas.
CRESTON — In the men’s Region XI Division II men’s championship game on Saturday, defending national champion Southwestern beat Iowa Central 97-79. They advance to the national tournament next week in Danville Illinois.
MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Nicole Miller, Sara Rhine and Maddy Dean, all reserves, each scored in double figures and top-seeded Drake won its second straight Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and NCAA berth on Sunday with a 75-63 win over third-seeded Northern Iowa.
Miller and Rhine scored 12 points apiece and Dean and starter Becca Jonas added 10 as the Bulldogs (26-7) won their 21st straight game, their seventh MVC tournament and earned their 12th trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Dean was named tournament MVP after hitting 10 of 21 from distance and averaging 17 points. She was joined on the all-tournament team by Rhine and Becca Hittner, the regular-season MVP who had nine points and six rebounds in the title game.
So for the second straight year Drake (26-7) rolled through the regular season and conference tournament without a loss — and for good measure knocked off Northern Iowa in the title game — though not with the dramatics of last year’s 74-69 win in overtime.
No player scored in double figures for the Panthers (19-13), who had won six straight.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns helped Minnesota stop a season-high three-game losing streak with 31 points and 16 rebounds, and the Timberwolves powered their way past Golden State down the stretch for a 109-103 victory. The Warriors took their second straight defeat without star Stephen Curry. Kevin Durant had 39 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who left Curry at home from this road trip to rest an injured right ankle. The defending NBA champions lost 125-108 to Portland on Friday.
MASON CITY — The North Iowa Bulls closed out the regular season with a pair of wins over the weekend. After giving up the initial goal on Saturday night, the Bulls netted five straight on their way to a 5-1 victory at New Ulm. Shane Bernhardson had two goals while Matt Dahlside and Dan Sandvig each had a goal and an assist. On Sunday night, the Bulls blew out Wausau 15-0, scoring three times in the first, and six times each in the second and third periods. Aaron Swanson had two goals and three assists, Tyler Bump had two goals and two assists, while Josh Arnold had two goals and an assist to lead the Bulls. Bernhardson and Jett Larson both had a goal and handed out four assists. The Bulls closed out the regular season with the NA3HL’s second-best winning percentage. Sunday’s game was a playoff preview as the Bulls will host Wausau in the Central Division playoffs starting on Friday night at 7:30 at the North Iowa Ice Arena.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have unconditionally released right-hander Anibal Sanchez, after a three-week stint with the club. The move cleared a space on the 40-man roster, amid reports that the team has agreed to terms on a $12 million, one-year contract with right-hander Lance Lynn. Sanchez signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Twins in attempt to revitalize his career. He gave up six runs in four innings this spring.