COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NAIA FINAL FOUR ACTION FROM LAST NIGHT

Vanguard U LionsFINAL FOUR: GAME ONE – The 6th seeded VANGUARD UNIVERSITY LIONS were playing in their first-ever Final Four matchup and will next be making their very first appearance in the NAIA National Championship Game! Last night the Lions took the court against the unseeded SAINT GREGORY’S UNIVERSITY CAVALIERS and led by a score of 25-16 before the Cavs cut that to a 28-26 advantage. That became a 37-28 Lion lead before SGU came fighting back again, making it a 44-41 game with 2:21 until Halftime. By the time the buzzer sounded Vanguard had stretched out their lead again – this time to 53-43.

After the break the Lions began to assert themselves and put more and more distance between themselves and the Cavaliers. A 75-58 Vanguard advantage ended as a Century Club-level 108-88 semifinal victory for VU. Preston Wynne logged FORTY-TWO POINTS himself to lead the Lions. * THE VANGUARD UNIVERSITY LIONS WILL PLAY IN TUESDAY NIGHT’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!

Emmanuel College Lions logoFINAL FOUR: GAME TWO – Last night’s second semifinal pitted the 8th seeded EMMANUEL COLLEGE LIONS against the unseeded MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY PIONEERS. Emmanuel College, like Vanguard University, was making its first-ever Final Four appearance and like their namesake Lions will be playing in their very first title game Tuesday night. This game was a much tighter affair, with EC watching a 27-19 lead melt to a 33-27 advantage by the break.

In the 2nd Half the Lions struggled to keep the Pioneers at arm’s length and succeeded until, with 2:27 remaining in the game the MNU squad tied things up at 70-70. The roughly 2 1/2 minutes that closed out the game were a mini-epic in themselves with the end result being a 76-72 triumph for Emmanuel College! We’ll have two Lion teams in the championship game, but that’s better than two Eagle teams! EC’s Michael Stanley led the scoring with 20 points. * THE EMMANUEL COLLEGE LIONS WILL PLAY IN TUESDAY NIGHT’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME! 

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