No. 4-seed Mid-America Christian (Okla.) guard Bryon Miller (6'5''-F) scored the game-winning basket with nine seconds remaining to give the Evangels a 93-89 win over No. 6-seed Campbellsville (Ky.) and advance to the championship game of the 2016 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. Mid-America Christian (27-9) will make its first-ever appearance in the national championship game against the winner of No. 1-seeded Georgetown (Ky.) and third-seeded MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) on Tuesday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. CDT. The contest will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Miller cut to the basket from just left of the arc, took a pass from Chris Runnels (6'6''-F) and laid the ball off the right side of the glass to give the Evangels a 91-89 lead. Devonse Reed (6'4''-F) had twice given Mid-America Christian the lead in the final 2:08 with pairs of free throws, but the Tigers were able to come back on its ensuing trips with Sekou Harris providing the leveling points. Campbellsville had enough time to get the ball up the court and had a chance at a game-tying shot, but Harris missed in traffic. A foul sent Miller to the line with 2.6 left, but he missed both attempts. A length-of-the-floor pass from the Tigers went untouched after a timeout, however, and Nick Tate iced the game with two free throws with 2.0 remaining. 'Feeling pretty good right now,' said Mid-America Christian head coach Josh Gamblin . 'Now we have to go watch two really good teams play. We celebrated in the locker room, now we come back out here and lock in, take care of our bodies mentally, physically, and be up all night watching either Georgetown or MidAmerica Nazarene.' The Evangels came flying out of the gates and shot a blistering 57.9 percent (22 of 38) in the first half that included 8 of 15 (.533) three-point attempts. A trey by Exzavia Seaton followed by a pair of long range connections by Miller and one by Jerrick Massenburge provided the majority of a 17-2 run to break a 33-33 tie and help Mid-America Christian to a 55-44 halftime lead. As they have throughout the tournament, Campbellsville made the necessary adjustments after halftime to work its way back into the game. Harris scored nine points in an 11-0 run that trimmed a 74-61 deficit down to just two with 10:08 to play. Dii'Jon Allen-Jordan (6'5''-F) tied the game a minute later with a pair of free throws, and the teams were tied five times down the stretch. 'There are a lot of things that plagued us throughout the season that came back tonight to haunt us,' said Campbellsville head coach Keith Adkins . 'Those things weren't here during the first three games of the tournament. But you know what, we had every opportunity to fold up and be down and say enough is enough but we didn't. We had a chance to win at the end. On a stage like this, that is about all you can do.' Reed led five players in double figures with 30 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists for the Evangels. Miller finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds, Malcolm Mann tallied 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds, while Tate (11) also hit double digits. Harris scored a game- and career-high 30 points and dished out five assists for Campbellsville, which finished the game 28 of 67 (.418) from the field and yielded a 46-34 rebounding margin. Allen-Jordan recorded 25 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, while Robert Robinson (6'7''-F) added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers. Campbellsville finishes its season with a 25-11 record. Courtesy of: naia.org
Player of the Year: Dalarian Williams (6'6''-F) of Life (Ga.) Coach of the Year: Brennen Shingleton of Texas Wesleyan All-Tournament Team Mike Harris (6'2''-G) of Langston Jonathan Beausejour of Life (Ga.) Dalarian Williams of Life (Ga.) Brandon Moss (6'9''-F) of LSU Alexandria (La.) Brian Sylvester (6'8''-F) of LSU Alexandria (La.) Ryan Harris (6'1''-G) of Texas Wesleyan Dion Rogers of Texas Wesleyan Najeal Young(6'6''-G-94) of Texas Wesleyan Charles Knowles (6'5''-G/F-93) of William Pe... [read more]
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