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NAIA DIVISION II NATIONAL TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
#3 Cornerstone University 80 University of Saint Francis (Ind.) 71
Point Lookout, Mo.
Cornerstone - Ronald Bates (25 points)
USF - DeJovan Sawyer-Davis (20 points)
Cornerstone - Caleb Simons (15 rebounds)
USF - Ferdinand Morales-Soto (13 rebounds)
Cornerstone - Caleb Simons (3 assists)
USF - Ferdinand Morales-Soto (2 assists)
KEY TEAM STATS
The Golden Eagles shot 50.9% (29-57) from the floor which included 52.9% (9-17) from beyond the arc. Ironically, the Golden Eagles shot a lower percentage from the foul line making only 48.1% (13-27) of their shots. The Cougars only shot 28.7 (23-80) from the field which included 15% (3-20) from the 3-point line.
The Golden Eagles had their hands full tonight with the Cougars of the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) but Cornerstone defended very well and limited the Cougars to just 28.7% shooting from the field while making 50.9% of their shots to defeats USF 80-71 to claim their 2nd National Championship. The game featured 10 ties and 8 lead changes over the course of the game. USF got out to a fast start and built a 14-6 lead with 13:48 on the clock. Cornerstone responded with an quick 11-2 run to take a 17-16 lead with 10:14 left in the half. The Cougars regained the lead (26-25) with 5:50 on the clock. Cornerstone would retake the lead at 4:33 on a Kelvin DeVries 3-pointer and the Golden Eagles would keep the lead through the rest of the half and would go into the locker room with a 3-point (31-28) advantage over USF. The Cougars would take their last lead (32-31) of the night just :45 seconds into the 2nd half. Caleb Simons put the Golden Eagles back on top at 18:46 with a 2-point shot in the paint. The Cougars would battle back to tie the game four more times (37-37 at 17:13, 53-53 at 9:17, 55-55 at 8:13, and 58-58 at 6:52) but they would not see the lead again in the game. Cornerstone pushed the lead to as much as 10 points (73-63 with 1:56 left in the half) and would finish with an 80-71 victory to claim the National Championship. Ronald Bates led the Golden Eagles today by recording his first double double (25 points and 12 rebounds) of the season. Kelvin DeVries and Caleb Simons were both named All-Tournament with Caleb being the Player of the Tournament. Coach Kim Elders was named Coach of the Year. The Golden Eagles finished the year with a record of 34-4.
The Golden Eagles will return home tomorrow night between 9-11 p.m. The team will be honored on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Mol Arena.