The Spalding University Golden Eagle men’s basketball team has clinched the regular season title in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) and earned the right to host the conference’s post-season tournament. The top four regular season finishers will converge on the Spalding campus and compete for the automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament. In addition to Spalding, the Eureka College Red Devils (Eureka, IL) have clinched the #2 seed, with the Westminster College Blue Jays (Fulton, MO) and the Webster University Gorloks (St. Louis, MO) securing the third and fourth positions, respectively, and rounding out the tournament participants. Friday evening at 6 p.m. Eureka will play Westminster, followed by Spalding versus Webster at approximately 8 p.m. The championship game will be played Saturday, February 23rd at 7 p.m. All games will be played on the campus of Spalding University in the Derek Smith Gymnasium, located in the Spalding University Center at 824 South 4th Street.
“With this being our first year as an official D-III institution, it is an honor and a privilege to be hosting the SLIAC conference tournament,” says long-time Spalding Head Coach Kevin Gray. “We ask that the community take notice, come out and support these young men and discover how exciting and up-close the D-III experience can be.”
SLIAC commissioner Will Wolper adds, “We are excited to be bringing the post-season tournament to Louisville for the first time. It is an opportunity for our student-athletes to experience a great city while spreading awareness of our conference to the community.”
The Spalding Golden Eagles finished conference play with a 15-1 record (18-7 overall), despite losing senior guard and SLIAC leading scorer Dewhon McAfee (20.5 ppg) to a season ending knee injury in a February 4th home contest against MacMurray. Down the stretch, the Golden Eagles were led by senior forward Jametrius Brasher, who shot 60 percent from the field while averaging 15.5 points and 6.75 rebounds per game.