The 2015-16 HCAC men's basketball regular season has come to a close and the action shifts to tournament play this weekend. The winner of the six-team HCAC Tournament will earn the conference's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament.
Mount St. Joseph (16-9, 13-5 HCAC) earned a share of the HCAC men's basketball title for the second-straight season and earned the No. 2 seed in this weekend's tournament. The Lions have alternated wins and losses the last seven games heading into the postseason tourney. The Mount will face the winner of Hanover and Transylvania in the semifinal Saturday night at Defiance. The Lions split with Hanover and Transylvania during the regular season.
The Lions have now qualified for the HCAC tournament for four consecutive seasons, and are back to back league co-champions.
"You hope that we learned something from last years semi-final loss. I think we as a coaching staff definitely learned from it." said head coach Toby Carrigan. When asked about the difference between tournament and regular season play coach Carrigan said, "During the tournament it is about players making plays, as a coach its more about managing the game at this point, putting guys in position to be successful."
"We are extremely excited by the success of our men's basketball team this season, and having an opportunity to be back-to-back conference co-champions is very special," said athletic director Steve Radcliffe.
The Lions are lead by three seniors who have been key contributors to the recent run of success. Joel Scudder (15.1 ppg) leads an offense that has four others averaging double figures. The Lions though rely on a strong defense to help win games, as they allow a league low 68 points per game.
Defiance College (15-10, 13-5 HCAC) locked up the conference's top seed on Saturday, defeating Rose-Hulman on a last-second jumper 73-72. The Yellow Jackets captured their third-straight men's basketball conference championship with the victory and will strive for their second-straight and fourth HCAC tournament title overall this weekend.
Opening Round- Friday, Feb. 26 (at Defiance College)
No. 5 Manchester vs. No. 4 Rose-Hulman, 6:00 PM
No. 6 Transylvania vs. No. 3 Hanover, 8:00 PM
Semifinals - Saturday, Feb. 27 (at Defiance College)
No. 1 Defiance vs. No. 4/5 winner, 5:00 PM
No. 2 Mount St. Joseph vs. No. 3/6 winner, 7:00 PM
Championship- Sunday, Feb. 28 (at Defiance College)
The links below will provide access to all of the conference tournament action.
Live Stats: http://www.defianceathletics.com/mbasketball/livestats/
Video (Semi-finals): http://livestream.com/accounts/5101560/events/4865203
Video (Finals): http://livestream.com/accounts/5101560/events/4865211