UISSC blows out Sigma Chi in All-U Final Four match up


Ryan Miller/The Daily Iowan
UI graduate student Caleb Recker fights for the ball with Chad Bruntz during the first game of the All-University tournament inside the Field House on Tuesday. Recker’s team, UISSC, advanced to today’s championship game.
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One night after Duke’s two-point win over Butler in Indianapolis, top-ranked UISSC looked to follow in the Blue Devils’ footsteps.

Donning similar royal blue uniforms, UISSC seemed to embody Duke in the All-University Final Four.

The squad played a strict defense that yielded but never broke. The team owned the offensive glass, which unleashed its lethal 3-point shooters.

But most importantly, UISSC flat-out won — beating Sigma Chi, 67-46.

Sigma Chi and UISSC had more than intramural bragging rights on the line in their matchup. The game stood as a rivalry between kin for Nicholas Kron of UISSC and cousin Chad Bruntz of Sigma Chi.

Though Bruntz led his relative in scoring with 19 points, Kron and the other UISSC members walked away with the win and the chance to be crowned All-University Champions today.

Though the final score may indicate a blowout, the first half was a close contest. Sigma Chi, led by Tyler Haines and Chad Howard, battled a physically superior offense with a compact 2-3 zone that stunned UISSC for most of the half.

“We started off the half with some bad shooting,” Caleb Recker said. “Their 2-3 zone covered us well.”

UISSC committed quite a few turnovers in the first half, and although the squad out-rebounded Sigma Chi on both the offensive and defensive glass, the team failed to convert on easy baskets.

“We need to make some shots before the last 10 minutes of the game,” Kron said. “We had some open shots at the beginning of the game, but we could not make them.”

Bruntz credited Sigma Chi’s first-half success to its defense as well.

“We slowed down the game,” he said. “We only have five guys, so slowing down the game in the first half was crucial.”

Sigma Chi would couldn’t keep up with slow pace after halftime, though. UISSC turned into an immovable force in the second half, scoring 39 points. The squad hit eight of their 12 3-pointers during the half.

Kron and Andre Murphy each nailed three 3-pointers, and Recker added two.

“That’s our game,” Murphy said. “We feed it in, and our big men kick it back out for good looks.”

Their barrage of 3-pointers fueled the UISSC defense. The team controlled the boards and forced the Fraternity League champions to commit plenty of turnovers that turned into easy fast-break points.

“We stopped making shots, and they picked up their defense,” Tyler Haines of Sigman Chi said. “We stopped playing defense and gave it away.”

In the tournament, UISSC is averaging 66.2 points per game. Tuesday night’s contest appeared to be a statement game, which ended in giant exclamation point.

With 46 seconds left in regulation, Murphy stole a weak Sigma Chi pass and found himself alone on a fast break. Without a defender in sight, the point guard raised up and threw down a dunk that mesmerized the game’s spectators.

“All my teammates said I couldn’t dunk, and I told them I can,” he said.

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