Looking Back at Wingate’s Basketball Season

Alex Taylor, Staff Writer

The Bulldogs had successful and thrilling basketball campaigns this season, on both the men’s and women’s teams. The men’s basketball team performed well throughout the regular season and entered the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) and NCAA Division 2 tournaments with complete confidence.

Their quarter final win over sixth seeded Catawba, 91-85, was the highlight of their SAC games. Senior forward Josh Dominguez led the bulldogs with 22 points and six assists, helping them win the game in overtime from a 13-point deficit.

At that point, the Bulldogs held a record of 20-9 overall and advanced to the SAC semifinals against the second-seeded Queens University Royals. In the SAC semi-finals, Wingate was eliminated from the competition by a crushing defeat to the Royals, losing 79-51.

The two teams faced each other again in the first round of the NCAA Southeast Regional tournament, where Wingate was the eighth-seeded team. Josh Dominguez led the Bulldogs with 27 points, a steal, and two blocks but they were unable to combat the Royals’ precise shooting (17 threes on 58.6 % shooting). The game concluded with a final score of 80-96, ending Wingate season at 20-11 overall.

Wingate’s women’s basketball team also had an outstanding season and were seeking to win another consecutive SAC title when they entered the tournament. Wingate opened the tournament with a victory against Lenoir-Rhyne, 56-46.

Junior Center Marta Miscenko got her 14th double-double, scoring 16 points and picking up 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Caroline Averette also scored doubled digits, snagging 15 points for Wingate.

The Wingate Women soared through the tournament and easily into the semi-finals grabbing a nail-biting victory from Catawba, 57-54. The finals were held in Mount Airy where Wingate wrapped up the tournament with swift victory.

Senior forward Kristina Rumplasch was the top scorer in the SAC final for a second year in a row with 21 points, leading her teammates to an 81-61 victory over the top-seeded Lincoln Memorial. With their ninth SAC championship title, Wingate’s record extended to 25-5 overall.

The Bulldogs entered the NCAA Division II tournament the second-seeded team and progressed through until the second round.  In the first round, they grabbed a huge victory against King University, 75-55, with five players scoring in the double digits.

Senior guard Shelby Tricoli scored a game-high 18 points, sinking four of four three point shots. The Bulldogs fell in the second round with an 85-66 defeat to Lincoln Memorial, ending their season at 26-6 overall.

Both head coaches felt their teams performed well and achieved far more than what was asked.  Head Coach Brian Good stated that the majority of the season was an uphill battle for the men’s team and he was impressed at how they all stepped up to their responsibilities.

His current focus for the team is scouting new players and improving their overall shooting percentage. “We could have easily just went away, not hang in there or be competitive but our guys really impressed me with how tough they were mentally and physically and found a way to get back in the mix of things and ultimately a NCAA bid after a 3-7 start is something they should be very proud of,” said Coach Good.

Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Ann Hancock, felt the season was successful and her players heightened their performance throughout the tournaments. Her focus for the team is training the new recruits and getting players to fill the responsibilities of the five seniors who will be leaving.

When referring to the five seniors who are graduating Coach Hancock said, “I’m happy for them because 26-6 and three rings is not a bad way to end your last season.  They won the championship their freshman, junior, and senior year. They were an outstanding group and lot fun to coach, so I was very pleased.”

Photo source Wingate University Athletics

Edited By: Brea Childs

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