* NAIA2 *
FINAL FOUR – GAME ONE – The first of last night’s two Final Four clashes pitted the 5 seeds – the DAKOTA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY TIGERS – against the 8th seeded DAVENPORT UNIVERSITY PANTHERS. The Tigers made it clear to the Cinderella Panthers that it was LONG past midnight, leading them 43-29 by Halftime on their way to an 80-51 blowout win. Trae Bergh had 29 points to lead Dakota Wesleyan University, with his teammate Jalen Voss not far behind with 22. * THE TIGERS MOVE ON TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME *
FINAL FOUR – GAME TWO – The second Final Four battle last night was between the 3 seeds – the CORNERSTONE UNIVERSITY GOLDEN EAGLES – and the 2nd seeded EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY EAGLES, whom I like to call the Aeronauts. This was a thrilling hardcourt showdown between two evenly-matched teams and by the break the score stood at 41-37 with the Golden Eagles on top. In the 2nd Half Cornerstone managed a bit more separation for a 91-81 victory. Cory Cox’s 19 points led the Golden Eagles with Kyle Steigenga and Travis Wells contributing 14 points each. * THE GOLDEN EAGLES MOVE ON TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME *
* NCAA DIVISION TWO *
– ROUND TWO –
APU IS A-OK – One of the 1 seeds – the AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY COUGARS – took on the 5th seeded CAL POLY AT POMONA BRONCOS. The Cougars asserted their dominance on both sides of the ball in the 1st Half and held a 37-28 lead at the break. In the 2nd Half Azusa Pacific University held off the re-energized Broncos for a 77-67 triumph and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen. Troy Leaf once again led the Cougars, this time with THIRTY points.
ONE POINT WONDER – One of the 3 seeds – the CAL BAPTIST UNIVERSITY LANCERS – squared off against the 7th seeded SEATTLE PACIFIC UNIVERSITY FALCONS, fresh off their 1st Round upset of a 2 seed. The Lancers fell behind the upstart Falcons 29-25 by Halftime but after the break they eventually made their comeback. The final tally in this Instant Classic was Cal Baptist 78 Seattle Pacific 77. Gelaun Wheelwright repeated as the star for the Lancers with 27 points.
THREE ONE SEEDS GO DOWN – There are eight 1 seeds in the D2 Tournament given the unusual way they set regions up, so that means there are five left. First the 4th seeded NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE BEARCATS toppled the 1 seeded AUGUSTANA (SD) VIKINGS. The Bearcats came back from a 32-24 Halftime deficit to win the game 66-65. Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State tossed in 22 points.
THE SECOND ONE SEED TO FALL – Another of the 4 seeds – the UNIVERSITY OF MOUNT OLIVE WARRIORS – brought down the 1 seeded LINCOLN MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY RAILSPLITTERS. The Warriors led at the Half by the very odd score of 28-17 on their way to a 75-55 upset victory. Mike Moore’s 26 points led Mount Olive with his teammate Dontrell Brite’s 16 points in second place.
AND DOWN GOES THE THIRD – The 5th seeded SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE OWLS versus the 1 seeded AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE YELLOW JACKETS was a tale of two Halves. The 1st Half was tightly contested affair with the Owls on top of the Yellow Jackets by just 37-35 at the break. The 2nd Half saw Southern Connecticut State win in an authoritative 86-65 rout. Luke Houston led the Owls with 20 points.
SIX SEED OVER TWO SEED UPSET – One of the 6 seeds – the LYNN UNIVERSITY FIGHTING KNIGHTS – managed a hefty upset of their own to move on to the Sweet Sixteen. The 2nd seeded BARRY UNIVERSITY BUCCANEERS found themselves trailing the Fighting Knights 40-29 at Halftime. After the break Lynn University fended off the Buccaneers’ comeback attempt and won 90-82. The Fighting Knights were led by Benjamin Berry with 24 points and Fred Landers with 23.
SNAKE-BITE – One of the 1 seeds – the FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE MOCCASINS – engaged in a battle royal with the 4th seeded UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA WOLVES. The score was knotted up at 41-41 at the break and stayed close all the way to the final buzzer. The Moccasins advanced by a score of 84-81. Florida Southern College’s Kevin Capers led his team with 24 points.
OTHER ONE SEEDS ADVANCING – The (1) WEST LIBERTY STATE HILLTOPPERS knocked out the (4) FAIRMONT STATE FALCONS in an 89-59 blowout. ### Meanwhile the (1) BELLARMINE UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS eliminated the (4) LAKE SUPERIOR STATE LAKERS 85-59 ### And the (1) TARLETON STATE TEXANS sent the (4) UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT COLORADO SPRINGS COUGARS home reeling from an 84-62 beating.
REIGN OF FIRE – One of the 2 seeds – the MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY AT MOORHEAD DRAGONS moved on to the Sweet Sixteen at the expense of the 3rd seeded UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL MISSOURI MULES. The Dragons seized a commanding 35-22 Halftime lead over the Mules and parlayed that into a 71-60 victory. Prescott Williams of MSU-Moorhead led the way with a Double Double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.
WHAT’S NEW WITH SNHU? – Another 2 seed – the SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSITY PENMEN – played a masterpiece of defensive basketball with the 6th seeded UNIVERSITY OF THE SCIENCES DEVILS. Even though the Penmen trailed the Devils 32-23 at the break they increased their pressure on both sides of the ball for a 59-53 comeback win. Aleksandar Dobrovic led Southern New Hampshire with 16 points and 6 steals.
TWO OVER THREE – A 2 seed over 3 seed game came next with the 2nd seeded UNIVERSITY OF MONTEVALLO FALCONS taking on the 3rd seeded UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT PEMBROKE BRAVES. A 30-30 tie at Halftime became an all-Montevallo 2nd Half as the Falcons clobbered the Braves by a final count of 78-59. Ryan May tossed in 25 points for the University of Montevallo.
THREE SEEDS MOVING ON – The 3rd seeded INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA CRIMSON HAWKS sent the 7th seeded SLIPPERY ROCK ROCKETS home with a 73-65 loss. ### And the (3) UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS GREYHOUNDS dispatched the (7) LEWIS UNIVERSITY FLYERS by a final score of 78-59.
SIX OVER SEVEN – This game saw the 6th seeded ANGELO STATE UNIVERSITY RAMS taking on the 7th seeded MIDWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS. Both teams made the 2nd Round based on 1st Round upsets but only the Rams excelled this time. By the midpoint Angelo State led the Mustangs by a score of 37-25 and the Rams continued playing smothering defense to win the game 66-49. Chris Jones had a Double Double of 17 points and 10 rebounds for Angelo State.
* NJCAA DIVISION ONE *
ROUND ONE – GAME ONE – Starting off the 2015 National Tournament was this clash between the 17th seeded TYLER COLLEGE APACHES and the 16 seeds – the FAULKNER STATE SUN CHIEFS. The score stood at a very tight 39-35 at Halftime with Tyler on top but after the break the Apaches started to put more and more separation between themselves and the Sun Chiefs. Tyler College moved on to the next round by a final score of 79-62 in this upset. Dale Jones led the Apaches with his 21 points.
ROUND ONE – GAME TWO – The 9 seeds – the VINCENNES UNIVERSITY TRAILBLAZERS – took the court against the 24th seeded COCHISE COLLEGE APACHES in this game. The Trailblazers were on fire offensively and by the midpoint buzzer had seized a 48-37 lead over Cochise College. In the 2nd Half Vincennes University kept up their offensive pace while also clamping down defensively. The final tally was Trailblazers 90 Apaches 60. A.J. Patty’s 27 points and 8 rebounds led Vincennes University.
ROUND ONE – GAME THREE – A substantial upset was in the cards in this next hardcourt clash. The 20th seeded HOLMES COLLEGE BULLDOGS faced off against the 13 seeds – the EASTERN FLORIDA STATE TITANS. By Halftime the Bulldogs had put the Titans on Upset Alert with a 30-23 advantage and in a 2nd Half which became an orgy of offense for both teams kept Eastern Florida State at just enough distance for a tight 72-68 victory. Daryl Macon of Holmes College led his team by tossing in 29 points.
ROUND ONE – GAME FOUR – Up next was a battle between the 12 seeds – the HILL COLLEGE REBELS – and the 21st seeded GILLETTE COLLEGE PRONGHORNS. This game was a true Instant Classic as the Pronghorns held a 44-38 lead over the Rebels at the break. Hill College regrouped in the locker room and outscored Gillette College 47-39 in the 2nd Half for an 85-83 comeback win. The Rebels were led by Tyrell Bellot-Green with 26 points while his teammate Jemerrio Jones recorded a Double Double of 19 points and 16 rebounds.
ROUND ONE – GAME FIVE – Back to upsets with this contest. Game Five pitted the 18th seeded COLUMBIA STATE CHARGERS against the SAN JACINTO COLLEGE- CENTRAL RAVENS, who came in as the 15 seeds. The Ravens were performing as expected and led the Chargers 44-39 at the end of an action-packed 1st Half. After the break Columbia State made its move, overtaking San Jacinto- Central for a 76-74 triumph in this game for the ages! For the Chargers Jamonte Graham’s 19 points led the way.
ROUND ONE – GAME SIX – Appropriately, this first day of the 2015 National Tournament ended with yet another upset. The 23 seeds – the CAPE FEAR COLLEGE SEA DEVILS – took on the 10th seeded JOHN A LOGAN COLLEGE VOLUNTEERS. At Halftime the Sea Devils faced a 32-24 deficit against the Volunteers but retained their composure and came out for the 2nd Half primed for a comeback. Cape Fear College outscored John A Logan College to the tune of FIFTY-TWO to 32 and advanced to the next round with a 76-66 victory. Anthony Vanhook put up 17 points to lead the Sea Devils.
ROUND ONE WILL CONTINUE TOMORROW!