*** NAIA ***
DAY ONE, GAME ONE – The (3) NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY BEACONS took the court against the (6) MIDLAND UNIVERSITY WARRIORS to start things rolling.
The 1st Half ended with the Beacons on top of the Warriors by a count of 44-40. Following the break Northwest Christian University managed some more elbow room for a 91-78 victory. Kenny Blackwell put up 20 points to lead the Beacons while his teammate Michael Loomis logged a Double Double of 15 points and 13 rebounds.
DAY ONE, GAME TWO – The (2) INDIANA UNIVERSITY RED WOLVES clashed with the (7) REINHARDT UNIVERSITY EAGLES (Should be the Rottweilers).
The Red Wolves had their hands full in the opening Half but eked out a 41-38 edge over the Eagles by the break. From there Indiana University East put together enough runs for an 84-74 victory. Kyle Pipenger’s 23 points led the Red Wolves with Aaron Thomas contributing 12 points and 12 rebounds for a Double Double.
DAY ONE, GAME THREE – This game pitted the (4) UNIVERSITY OF SAINT FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS against the (5) OREGON TECH HUSTLIN’ OWLS.
The score stood at 48-46 by Halftime, with the Cougars on top of the Hustlin’ Owls. An equally action-packed 2nd Half saw the University of Saint Francis go on to win the contest by a Century Club-level score of 100-92. Bryce Lienhoop and Kyle Sovine each got a Double Double – Lienhoop with 24 points and 14 rebounds and Sovine with 15 points and 10 boards.
DAY ONE, GAME FOUR – One of the 1 seeds – the CORNERSTONE UNIVERSITY GOLDEN EAGLES – got a much tougher fight than expected from the (8) PACIFIC UNION COLLEGE PIONEERS.
This was a tale of two Halves – the opening frame ended with the upstart Pioneers leading the Golden Eagles by a shocking 55-30. After the break Cornerstone University and Pacific Union College virtually flipped that performance as the Golden Eagles went on to win the game by a score of 89-83. Cory Cox tossed in 26 points to lead Cornerstone U.
DAY ONE, GAME FIVE – A huge upset lay in store in this hardcourt battle between the (7) TAYLOR UNIVERSITY TROJANS and the (2) WARNER UNIVERSITY ROYALS.
The Trojans put the Royals on Upset Alert by Halftime, boasting a surprising 38-23 advantage over the Royals. From there Taylor University had to withstand a furious Warner University rally, hanging on for a 73-67 triumph. Eight different Trojans scored for the victors, led by Keaton Hendricks with 15 points and 8 rebounds.
DAY ONE, GAME SIX – Up next the (1) UNION COLLEGE (TN) BULLDOGS did battle with the (8) AQUINAS COLLEGE SAINTS.
Both offenses were on fire in the 1st Half, which ended with the Bulldogs holding a 56-52 lead. After the break Union College put more and more distance between themselves and the Saints, ultimately winning the game by a final score of 95-83. Twenty-seven points and 8 rebounds from Tyrone Sherman led the Bulldogs.
DAY ONE, GAME SEVEN – This game saw the (3) TRINITY INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY TROJANS taking on the (6) COLLEGE OF THE OZARKS BOBCATS.
The Trojans dominated the Bobcats on both sides of the ball to the point where they led the game 32-22 at the break. The 2nd Half was more of the same and Trinity International University coasted to a comfortable 72-55 victory. Jeremy Carlyle put up points to lead the Trojans while his teammate Zach Kirschbaum recorded a Double Double of 16 points and 11 rebounds.
DAY ONE, GAME EIGHT – Closing out Day One was this contest between the (5) COLLEGE OF IDAHO COYOTES and the (4) DAKOTA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY TIGERS.
Typical of a 4 seed versus 5 seed matchup this was tight from start to finish. Halftime found the Coyotes clinging to a 44-42 edge over the Tigers and after the break the College of Idaho consummated the Upset threat by defeating Dakota Wesleyan University in a 98-93 thriller. The Coyotes’ Aitor Zubizarreta had their offense covered from A to Z with his 21 points.