William Jewell College survived a 3-point attempt by Rogers State University’s (Okla.) Aldric Reynolds with no time remaining to upset the top-seeded Hillcats 76-73 at the 2009 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Cardinals are just the second team in the tournament’s history to upset a number one seed in the first round, with the other being Dillard (La.) defeating Houston Baptist (Texas) in 2003. The loss snaps the Hillcats’ 17-game winning streak.
William Jewell was in control early and led 20-14 after an offensive put back by Jacques Wilson with 8:41 remaining in the half. However, Rogers State answered with a 14-0 run to go up 28-20 before the Cardinals whittled that deficit to 35-33 at the break.
The Hillcats went up by as many eight points (41-33) early in the second half before a seven-point run by William Jewell cut the margin to 41-40 with 17:09 remaining in the game. Rogers State kept its lead between two and seven points throughout the second half until William Jewell finally captured its first lead of the half, 70-68, on a 3-point basket by Jonathan Benson with 2:22 remaining in the game. Rogers State tied the game on two free throws by Chris Francis with 2:06 left to play, but the Cardinals answered with two free throws from Benson and the Cardinals never trailed again.
Benson led five William Jewell players in double figures with 23 points. Larry Mandacina added 16 points while Kyle Fisher finished with 15 points. Wilson and Jordan Jamestown netted 11 points each with Jamestown adding eight rebounds and eight assists.
The Hillcats were paced by Sylvester Spicer with 18 points. Roderick Rodgers and Spencer Schrupp contributed 14 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench.
William Jewell, now 23-10, advances to play in Friday’s second round at 12:30 p.m. CDT against the winner of the Cumberland University (Tenn.) and Auburn University-Montgomery (Ala.) contest. Rogers State finishes its campaign with a 30-2 overall record.