The Columbia College men’s basketball team was the only Missouri school to have success in the first day of the opening round of the NAIA Division I men’s or women’s tournaments.
The men’s bracket is being played in Kansas City. Park University lost to Mid-America Christian (Okla.), while over in the women’s bracket in Independence, William Woods-Fulton and Columbia College lost.
Three of our four Missouri schools are out and as the Cougar men move on, the Central Methodist women play their first round today.
Below is a recap of each game from the NAIA office.
No. 2 Columbia (Mo.) (29-5) def. No. 7 LSU Shreveport (La.) (18-14), 94-68
No. 2 seed Columbia (Mo.) raced to a 23-point halftime lead and cruised to a 94-68 victory against No. 7 LSU Shreveport (La.), Wednesday evening in the first round of the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship. The Cougars will face third-seeded William Penn (Iowa) on Friday, March 18 at 2:15 p.m. CDT.
Nathan Biggs came off the bench and hit eight-of-nine field goal attempts to lead Columbia with 22 points, while Nic Reynolds hit five three-point shots and tallied 17 points to go along with five rebounds. Travis Vogt added 14 points and five rebounds for the Cougars, and Preston Whitfield chipped in with 11 points.
“Our guys showed a lot of spirit,” said Columbia head coach Bob Burchard. “We did a great job controlling boards, which is what we talked about before the game. Our goal was to hold them to one shot each possession and we were able to do that the majority of the time.”
No. 4 Mid-America Christian (Okla.) (24-9) def. No. 5 Park (Mo.) (20-10), 88-86
No. 4-seeded Mid-America Christian (Okla.) hit three free throws in the final 12 seconds to hold off No. 5-seeded Park (Mo.), 88-86.
The last of 13 lead changes in the game occurred with 1:00 to play when the Pirates’ Mylin Jordan hit two free throws to tie it at 83-83. Chris Runnels scored on a putback for the Evangels with 46 seconds left, giving his team the lead for good, the last of eight lead changes in the game.
No. 1 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) (30-2) def. No. 8 William Woods (Mo.) (21-11), 82-52
Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) cruised to an 82-52 win in the fourth game of round one.
Our Lady of the Lake got off to a fast start, as the Saints scored 23 of the 28 total first quarter points. Our Lady of the Lake shot just 33.3 percent in the first, but forced 15 William Woods turnovers en route to 13 fast break points.
No. 6 Baker (Kan.) (25-8) def. No. 3 Columbia (Mo.) (27-6), 80-71
No. 6-seed Baker (Kan.) pulled off an upset win over No. 3-seed Columbia (Mo.), 80-71, in the first round for the second-straight year.
Baker (25-8) got off to a hot start by hitting six of its first nine shots including, three makes behind the arc. The Wildcats led 15-4 with 4:42 remaining in the first quarter.
Columbia managed to rally to take a 58-55 lead into the final period, but Baker ended the game on a 15-6 run and held the Cougars to four points over the last 1:58 of the game.