IU East, Kokomo and Southeast basketball teams battle it out for conference championship
Mar. 1, 2017
Three IU campuses advanced to the finals of the River States Conference Tournament and went head to head on Feb. 28.
The IU East men’s basketball team was matched against IU Southeast, and the IU East women’s basketball team faced off against IU Kokomo.
Both IU East’s men’s and women’s basketballs teams took home the win.
Despite losing Lucas Huffma, their top scorer and returning All-American, to a knee injury in November, the men’s basketball team went on to a 26-7 record.
“This season has been a good lesson for our players in fighting through adversity,” IU East men’s basketball head coach Mark Hester said. “I’m really proud of these young men and what they are working to become.”
For the IU East women’s basketball team, this is their third consecutive year to clinch a place in the conference final, but this is their first win.
"We've been talking about cutting down nets since the summer, since everybody got here, so this has been a real focus all season long,” IU East women’s head coach Tiffani Selhorst said. “I believe that this championship should get us a good seed in the national tournament, and I really feel confident that this team can make a run."
And going up against a fellow regional campus team only added to the excitement of the night.
“This was a really cool game to coach, to have two regional campuses that just started programs three years ago and to both be where we’re at and playing in a championship game against each other and both going to nationals … that really says something about Indiana University and how much kids want to be a part of IU, whether it is at one of the regional campuses or in Bloomington,” she said.
The performances of IU East’s men’s and women’s basketball teams in the tournament secured them an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II Basketball National Championship this month. IU Southeast men’s team secured a bid as well. The IU Kokomo women’s team will also compete in the NAIA championship, for the first time.
In fact, this was their first year to make it to the River States Conference championship game.
The NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship and the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship will take place will take place March 8 to 14.