Texas Wesleyan University became the fifth unseeded team to post an upset victory in the first round of action at the 2010 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship with a 74-71 win against No. 14 Central Methodist University (Mo.) on Wednesday at Municipal Auditorium.
Senior guard Jamel White scored a game-high 30 points to lead the Rams to the come-from-behind victory and junior guard Brian Wanamaker hit for 16 points.
Central Methodist led for the entire first half and for the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Runnin’ Eagles opened the game on a 10-2 run and eventually stretched the margin to 10 points on two different occasions in the half. After leading 38-33 at the half, Central Methodist extended its lead back to nine points before the Rams battled back. Texas Wesleyan tied of the game at 49-49 on a three-pointer from White with 11:29 to go. White hit another three-point shot with 9:53 on the clock to give the Rams their first lead of the night, 53-52.
The Rams took nine point lead into the closing minutes, but Central Methodist rallied one final time. A three-pointer from senior guard Matt Sherman brought the Runnin’ Eagles within 70-67 at the 1:20 mark. Dahl later hit his first three-point shot of the season to trim the deficit to 72-70 with three seconds remaining.
White was fouled on the inbounds and made one of two free throws to push the lead back to 73-70 for Texas Wesleyan. White missed the second attempt, and Central Methodist senior forward Brock Edris was quickly fouled with 2.2 seconds to play. He made the first but committed a lane violation trying to intentionally miss the second try. Sophomore forward Darren Houliston was fouled on the inbounds and made one of two free throw attempts to the win for the Rams.
Dahl registered a team-high 28 points for Central Methodist, while Sherman scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half for the Runnin’ Eagles. Central Methodist wrapped up its season with an overall record of 24-9.