Union's wait for its first ever national title is over as the No.1 Bulldogs defeated No. Cornerstone (Mich.) 72-69 in the 2017 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship game played tonight at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks. Union closes the season with a school record 35-3 mark, the most wins among NAIA Division schools, winning its 33rd straight game. Paul Stone (6'6''-F), the championship's most valuable player, led Union with 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds, despite playing most of the final 10 minutes with four fouls. Mike Martin (6'4''-F), who earned the championship hustle award, added 17 points and five boards while Gerrard Newby (6'5''-F) tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. With the score knotted at 45 at the 14-minute mark, the ninth and final tie of the game, Union went on a decisive 14-2 run. The Bulldogs clamped down defensively, holding Cornerstone without a field goal for over six minutes. Cory Cox (6'5''-F) knocked down a jumper to end the Golden Eagles' scoring drought, cutting the lead to 61-52. Cornerstone stayed within contact, thanks in large part to the play of junior Kyle Steigenga (6'6''-F), whose two free throws put his team down just six, 66-60 with three minutes left. A Cox three-pointer made it a one possession game (66-63) but Union answered with consecutive baskets by Lance Blakely (6'5''-F) and Martin, giving the Bulldogs a seven-point lead with just over a minute left. Cornerstone guard Michael McLaughlin (5'10''-PG) drained a long three from the top of the key to make the score 70-66 and Union failed to convert on a 1-and-1, giving the Golden Eagles' hope with under 20 seconds left. Cornerstone missed a three-pointer and Newby was fouled after controlling the rebound. The senior calmly made two free throws to put the game out of reach, despite a last-second three-pointer by McLaughlin that made the final margin three points. 'This was a very hard game to play…hard to find offensive things to go to, but we persevered,' said Union head coach Kevin Burton . 'Cornerstone is a class act. They have great talent and great coaching. For us to come up on top in a game against a team that's so storied in the NAIA, it's a pretty good accomplishment.' The top two overall seeds played a very tight first half with neither team able to pull away with an extended scoring run. Cornerstone shot nearly 50% over the first 20 minutes, going to its strong inside game coupled with the strong play-making of McLaughlin. Union relied on its three-point shooting, going 7/14 from beyond the arc, in a first half that ultimately ended with a 36-35 Bulldogs lead. Steigenga carried Cornerstone on both ends of the floor behind a 30-point, 10 rebound effort in a full 40-minutes of court time. It was his fourth double-double of the championship. Playmaking senior guard McLaughlin finished with 16 points and Cox, another senior, closed with 12 points. Sam Vander Sluis (6'9''-C) grabbed 14 rebounds, finishing the championship with 69 boards, second most all-time at the D-II Championship. Cornerstone shot 41% for the game and was limited to 33% over the final 20 minutes. They finish the season with a 34-4 overall record. 'It was a tough end to a great season,' said Cornerstone head coach Kim Elders . 'Union was so tough defensively and took us out of some things we do well. They also created pressure that transitioned into turnovers and points.'
NAIA D2 Most Outstanding Player: Paul Stone (6'6''-F) of Union NAIA D2 Championship Hustle Award:Mike Martin (6'4''-F) of Union NABC/NAIA D2 Coach of the Year:Kim Elders of Cornerstone NAIA D2 National Coach of the Year: Kevin Burton of Union
Mayville State Hires Darren Tighe to Lead Men's Basketball Program - 14 days ago
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The Mayville State Comets are pleased to announce that they have hired Ridgewater Community College Head Coach Darren Tighe as their new Men's Basketball Coach. Coach Tighe on his new opportunity - "My family and I are thrilled to be joining the Mayville State University family! I want to thank Athletic Director Mike Moore, President Dr. Gary Hagen, the search committee, and the entire comet athletic staff. Once I was able to step on campus, it did not take long to figure out that Mayvill... [read more]
The Mayville State Comets are pleased to announce that they have hired Ridgewater Community College Head Coach Darren Tighe as their new Men's Basketball Coach. Coach Tighe on his new opportunity - "My family and I are thrilled to be joining the Mayville State University family! I want to thank Athletic Director Mike Moore, President Dr. Gary Hagen, the search committee, and the entire comet athletic staff. Once I was able to step on campus, it did not take long to figure out that Mayville State is a special place with first class people! The opportunity to become the head coach at such a prestigious academic university with a rich basketball tradition was too good to pass up. My family and I are looking forward to moving to North Dakota and becoming ingrained in the community. We are extremely excited to begin the process of building a championship culture with the men's basketball program at Mayville State University!" Coach Tighe graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato with a Bachelors Degree in English Studies. He also received his Master's Degree in Teaching from Minnesota State University Mankato. From 2007-11, Coach Tighe worked with the men's basketball program at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN under Head Coach Rick Jeddeloh . Coach Tighe worked his way up the coaching ranks from 2nd assistant his first two years to head assistant in 2010, then to Associate Head Men's Basketball Coach in 2011. During that time, he helped the Vikings reach the conference tournament all four years along with a Conference Championship appearance in 2009. Coach Tighe's responsibilities at Bethany included serving as the recruiting coordinator, head of the tape exchange program, Point Guard and Defensive Coach, as well as leading the individual skill development program. He also assisted with opponent scouting reports and was the summer assistant camp coordinator. After Bethany, Coach Tighe spent some time in the high school ranks, as he served as the Head Coach at JWP High School. He then taught and coached two years at Redwood Valley High School, where he helped the Cardinals to a State Tournament appearance in 2013 and a section runner up finish in 2014. At this time, Coach Tighe accepted the Head Coach position at Ridgewater Community College In Willmar, MN. In his inaugural season with the Warriors, Coach Tighe helped lead Ridgewater to a 9-18 record. He coached All Conference Selection Dylan Schueler (Willmar, MN) as well as six members of the MCAC All Conference Academic Team. Year two of the Tighe era saw the Warriors etch their names in the Ridgewater record books. The team set school records for most regular season wins in school history (20) and tied the record for most wins in a season (22) with the 1965 Warrior Basketball team. The 22 wins was more than the last two seasons combined for the Warrior basketball program. The 22-8 record was even more impressive as the MCAC was as tough as ever hosting the #2, #3, and #4th ranked teams in the nation. Six of the team's eight losses came to nationally ranked teams or D1 junior colleges. Seven freshmen averaged double digit minutes this season. Akeem Oglesby (Statesboro, GA) and Jack Turnbull (Adelaide, South Australia) were named to the MCAC All Southern Division Team and the All MCAC team. Oglesby was also named to the All Region 13 team as well as being named the Region 13 player of the year. Oglesby was also awarded the honor of being named 2nd team All American. The Ridgewater men's basketball team had another quality year under the 2016-17 season, as they finished 17-8 with program building wins over nationally recognized RCTC, Central Lakes, and St. Cloud Tech. The Warriors once again relied on outside shooting and were ranked 2nd, 4th, and 9th in the nation in three pt field goals made, attempted, and percentage. Ridgewater averaged 82 PPG and gave up an MCAC Southern Division Low 70 PPG. Another Ridgewater trademark of taking care of and sharing the basketball shown bright in 2017 with the Warriors ranking 14th in the nation in assists per game (18.8) and 7th in the nation in turnovers per game (10.6). Oglesby again continued his historic Ridgewater career earning MCAC All Southern Division honors, All State MCAC Honors, as well as making the All Region Team. Athletic Director Mike Moore on Coach Tighe's hire - "We are excited to have Darren as our new head men's bb coach. During the interview process Darren showed a great deal of compassion and drive in regard to this position. His experience as a head coach and experience particularly at the junior college level has him to come in and re-energize our program quickly. He made a definite connection with the search committee and our current players and I'm confident he will do the same with Mayville-Portland and the surrounding communities. He and his family will be a great fit for our setting. It was evident during the process that building relationships is a priority for him. We anticipate him starting his duties in the next few days." Courtesy of: victorysportsnetwork.com
Player of the Year: Dalarian Williams (6'6''-F) of Life; Coach of the Year: Larry Cordaro of LSU-Alexandria; 1st Team: PG: Zach Taylor (6'0''-PG) of Carroll, MT; C: Liam Hunt (6'6''-C) of Hope International; F: Dalarian Williams (6'6''-F) of Life; F: Brian Sylvester (6'8''-F) of LSU-Alexandria; C: Kieston Standfield (6'7''-C) of Middle Georgia; C: Xavier Smith (6'9''-C) of Oklahoma City; F: Joe Jackson (6'6''-F) of Our Lady Lake; F: Xavielle Brown (6'3 [read more]
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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