SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (WANE) – The fourth time turned out not to be the charm for the Saint Francis men’s basketball team as Indiana Wesleyan beat the Cougars for the fourth time season on Tuesday night – this time in the NAIA Division II national championship game.
USF finishes as national runner-up with a 29-9 record. It’s the second time in three years the Cougars fell to IWU in the national title game, having lost to the Wildcats 69-66 in the 2016 championship match-up.
Columbia City grad Derek Hinen led USF on Tuesday with 24 points while Bryce Lienhoop was the only other Cougar in double figures with 17 points.
Warsaw grad Kyle Mangas led IWU (31-7) as the freshman tallied 23 points. Evan Maxwell added 20 points for IWU while Jacob Johnson (14 points), Grant Smith (13), and Canaan Coffey (12) all scored in double figures.
IWU beat USF twice in the regular season then once again in the Crossroads League title game before the Wildcats defeated the Cougars for a fourth time on Tuesday.