KU ends his­toric sea­son in loss to IUP

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - SPORTS - Cour­tesy KU ath­let­ics

FAIR­MONT, W.VA. >> A his­toric cam­paign for the No. 10 Kutz­town Univer­sity men’s basketball team came to an end with a 94-80 loss to No. 8 In­di­ana (Pa.) in the first round of the At­lantic Re­gional at Joe Ret­ton Arena on Satur­day night.

KU (26-4) ends its sea­son with the sec­ond-most wins in a sin­gle sea­son in pro­gram his­tory, trail­ing only the 2008-09 team’s 28. No­tably, the Golden Bears set the school record with 18 Penn­syl­va­nia State Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (PSAC) vic­to­ries and tied a 100-yearold record with an 18-game win streak.

Trail­ing by as many as 13 in the first half, and six at half­time, KU cut the deficit to three twice early in the sec­ond half, the lat­ter of the two com­ing when a Dan Cuevas (Strouds­burg, Pa./Strouds­burg) jumper made the score 44-47 just 2:07 out of the locker room.

IUP (28-3) scored the next 10 points though, over 2:30 to ex­tend the lead back to 13 with 15:23 re­main­ing, and Kutz­town was not able to make it a one-pos­ses­sion game the rest of the night.

The clos­est KU came was within five twice, in­clud­ing when Austin Bei­del­man (Sch­necksville, Pa./Park­land)’s layup made it 67-72 with 7:39 to go.

The game was still within reach at 76-83 af­ter an An­thony Lee (Wil­low Grove, Pa./Abing­ton) layup with 4:18 left, but In­di­ana put the con­test out of reach by an­swer­ing with a 7-0 run.

Fresh­man Max Wag­ner (Perkasie, Pa./Pen­nridge) led Kutz­town with a ca­reer­high 14 points, sur­pass­ing his pre­vi­ous ca­reer-best with 10 in the first half. All three of his ca­reer-high three steals also came be­fore the break.

Lee and Ethan Ridge­way (West Ch­ester, Pa./Ba­yard Rustin) added 13 points apiece. Lee made one three­p­ointer to end the sea­son with 67, tied for ninth in the pro­gram an­nals, while Ridge­way dished out three as­sists to in­crease his pro­gram record to 260, which moved him into fifth in PSAC sin­gle-sea­son his­tory. He also made two free throws to move into a tie for eighth in KU his­tory with 133 this sea­son.

Se­nior Josh John­son (Nor­ris­town, Pa./Nor­ris­town) ended his his­toric ca­reer with 12 points and five re­bounds. He ends his four years sec­ond in Kutz­town his­tory with 883 re­bounds and third with 1,702 points.

Also end­ing their ca­reers and run in the record books on Satur­day night was Ryan Con­nolly (Har­leysville, Pa./ Soud­er­ton Area) and Bei­del­man.

JOHN­SON NAMED TO D2CCA

ALL-AT­LANTIC TEAM >> Se­nior Josh John­son (Nor­ris­town, Pa./Nor­ris­town) of the No. 10 Kutz­town Univer­sity men’s basketball team be­came the sec­ond player in pro­gram his­tory to be se­lected All-Re­gion twice, as the Di­vi­sion II Con­fer­ence Com­mis­sion­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (D2CCA) re­leased its All-At­lantic Re­gion Men’s Basketball Team on Mon­day.

The At­lantic Re­gion, home to five of the top-10 teams in the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Di­vi­sion II Men’s Basketball Poll, is ar­guably the deep­est Re­gion in Di­vi­sion II basketball.

John­son was named to the Sec­ond Team for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, join­ing Stephen Den­nis (200809 & 2009-10) as the only player in KU men’s basketball his­tory to be rec­og­nized as All-Re­gion twice in a ca­reer. Dave Ben (200809) is the only other Golden Bear to have ever re­ceived the ac­co­lade of All- Re­gion.

The honor adds to a grow­ing list of ac­co­lades for John­son, who has also been se­lected All-Penn­syl­va­nia State Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (PSAC) East three times, in­clud­ing be­ing voted the 2016 PSAC East Ath­lete of the Year and 2017 PSAC East De­fen­sive Ath­lete of the Year to be­come the first player in league his­tory to re­ceive both hon­ors. He was also named the 2016 KU Male Ath­lete of the Year and was se­lected to the 2017 Le­high Val­ley Small Col­lege Basketball Me­dia Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Team of the Year.

Wrestling

BIRM­ING­HAM, ALA. >> Austin Petril (Clifton Heights, Pa./Up­per Darby (Ursi­nus)) fin­ished fourth, T.C. Warner (Me­chan­ics­burg, Pa./Cum­ber­land Val­ley (Blooms­burg)) fin­ished fifth and Ryan Ap­pleby (Belvidere, N.J./Belvidere) fin­ished eighth to wrap up Kutz­town Univer­sity’s wrestling week­end at the NCAA Na­tional Cham­pi­onships at the Cross­plex in down­town Birm­ing­ham.

All three Golden Bears be­came first-time All-Amer­i­cans on Fri­day night, the first time in pro­gram his­tory KU has donned three in a sea­son.

Through the third ses­sion, Kutz­town stands in 15th place with 26.5 points. If it holds through Satur­day night’s fi­nals, it would be the sec­ond-best team fin­ish in school his­tory (14th, 2015).

Petril opened his day in the 125-pound na­tional semi­fi­nal against thir­dranked Ivan McClay of Notre Dame Col­lege (Ohio). Petril was taken down early and con­tin­ued to bat­tle with es­cape points and eras­ing rid­ing time, but de­spite earn­ing his first take­down of the match in the third pe­riod and fin­ish­ing on top, he was un­able to turn McClay for any needed back points as he fell to McClay for the sec­ond time this sea­son by de­ci­sion, 7-6.

He re­sponded by win­ning his en­sur­ing match against fifth-ranked Alan Diltz of Se­ton Hill, 8-5, to move on to the third-place match.

Petril had a tall task in front of him in the third­place match, top-ranked Brett Ve­lasquez of Saint Cloud State. Ve­lasquez jumped out early and never looked back in a 12-2 ma­jor de­ci­sion over Petril.

Petril fin­ished in fourth­place and closes his ju­nior sea­son with 23 wins.

Warner com­peted in the 165-pound na­tional semi­fi­nal, go­ing up against No. 1 Isa­iah White of Notre Dame. Warner was un­able to top­ple the top-ranked wrestler in Di­vi­sion II, drop­ping an 8-1 de­ci­sion.

He went up next against Ne­braska-Kear­ney’s Calvin Ochs for the sec­ond time of the tour­na­ment. Warner won the first meeting by de­ci­sion, but fell 1-0 Satur­day on a rid­ing time point. Warner moved on to the fifth­place match against Alonzo Turner for the sec­ond time this week­end. As he did in the first meeting, Warner pre­vailed with a 6-2 win to fin­ish in fifth place.

Ap­pleby dropped his third match of the sea­son to Gannon’s Nick Budd to open his Satur­day, a 3-1 de­ci­sion. He went on to com­pete in the sev­enth-place match, drop­ping a 12-9 de­ci­sion to No. 1 Caleb Cot­ter of Cen­tral Ok­la­homa.

All three Golden Bears com­pleted their ju­nior sea­sons and will re­turn for their se­nior sea­sons next year.

Softball

For the sec­ond straight week, and the sixth time in her ca­reer, Sa­van­nah Nier­intz (Clifton Heights, Pa./ Up­per Darby) of the Kutz­town Univer­sity softball team was named the Penn­syl­va­nia State Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (PSAC) East Pitcher of the Week it was an­nounced on Mon­day.

Nier­intz helped KU (95) to two wins on the first two days of its Spring Break trip this past week­end. She posted a 2-0 record with a 3.18 ERA in two com­pletegame wins, while hold­ing a 20/2 strike­out/walk ra­tio.

In a 5-3 vic­tory over Saint Anselm on Satur­day, March 11, Nier­intz held the Hawks score­less through the first five in­nings and struck out six bat­ters in the com­pletegame ef­fort. She then threw a ca­reer-high nine in­nings on Sun­day, al­low­ing only six hits with nine strike­outs and no walks to help Kutz­town hold off Drury 6-5 in ex­tra in­nings.

Nier­intz is cur­rently a PSAC-best 6-1 on the year with a league-high six com­plete games, two shutouts and one save. She also leads the con­fer­ence with 57.1 in­nings pitched and is third with 48 strike­outs. Her 1.71 ERA ranks 10th.

DEN­NIS KRUMANOCKER - FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Kutz­town’s Josh John­son was named to the D2CCA Al­lAt­lantic Re­gion team.

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