Concordia University (Calif.) opened with an 8-2 run and never looked back in posting a 71-54 victory against William Jewell College (Mo.) in first-round action of the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship Thursday at Municipal Auditorium.

Concordia, the No. 2 seed in this year’s tournament, shot 59.3 percent (25-of-54) during the first half on its way to a 41-25 lead at the intermission. Concordia never trailed in the game, scoring the first six points and racing to an 8-2 lead after four minutes of play. William Jewell stayed with the Eagles for most of the half before Concordia took control late. The Eagles held the Cardinals without a point over the final 4:34 of the half while scoring the final 12 points to take a 41-25 lead at the intermission. The Eagles maintained their double-digit lead throughout the second half, taking its largest lead of the night at 67-45 on a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Austin Simeon with 7:10 to play.