March 13, 2012
By -, -
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - (Box Score) (Bracket - Final) - No. 2 Oregon Tech won its third NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship, defeating No. 1 Northwood (Fla.) 63-46 in the lowest scoring title game. The Hustlin’ Owls tie Bethel (Ind.) for the most championships at the Division II tournament and finish the year with a 34-4 record.
Trailing by one (19-18) after shooting a mere 28 percent in the first half, Oregon Tech outscored Northwood 45-27 and shot 67 percent in a dominant second half.
Freshman Bobby Hunter got things started for Oregon Tech in the final half with a steal and lay-in, giving his team its first lead (22-21) since the 13-minute mark. Tied at 25 moments later, Jason Gamblin drilled a fade away jumper to give the Hustlin’ Owls the lead back and Northwood would never see it again.
Oregon Tech led by six (40-34) and then outscored Northwood 13-4 over a six minute stretch, started by a 3-point play by Hunter, to open up a 53-38 lead. Defensively, they held the Seahawks without a field goal for nearly eight minutes.
Hunter scored a lay-up with 2:30 to go and then finished off Northwood with an electrifying slam, giving his team a 62-44 lead with one minute left.
Oregon Tech shot 46 percent for the game and went 6-for-20 from beyond the arc, but made 4-of-8 in the second half. Bobby Hunter earned tournament most valuable player honors after scoring a game-high 20 points with 18 coming in the second half. Jason Gamblin added 16 points and David Clarke chipped in 11, knocking down a trio of 3-pointers.
"I'm excited of the team’s performance on the greatest stage of our lives’” commented senior Kyle Gomez. “We dealt with adversity as a group and we can't finish in a better way than this."
Both teams got off to slow starts offensively. A Patrick Horstmann put-back gave Northwood an early 8-5 lead but Oregon Tech scored the next four points to go up one, 9-8. A 7-2 Northwood run later in the half gave the Seahawks its largest lead (19-14), but Oregon Tech scored the final four points and held Northwood scoreless over the final five minutes of the first half.
"Our defense was unbelievable,” commented Oregon Tech head coach Danny Miles. “At halftime, we told the kids that (on offense) if we pass the ball five or six times we would get great shots, and they listened."
Northwood shot a season-low 30 percent for the game and made just 1-of-19 3-point attempts. The 46 points is the lowest scored in a championship game. Tyrone Davis netted 19 points and was the only Northwood player who scored in double figures. Jonathan Dunn added nine points and five rebounds. The Seahawks finish the season with a 34-4 record.
2012 NAIA All-Tournament Team
James Nelson, Davenport (Mich.)
Lonnie Fairfax, Davenport (Mich.)
Rich Skillman, Northwest (Was.)
Aaron Frazier, McPherson (Kan.)
Jordan Crawford, McPherson (Kan.)
Tyrone Davis - Northwood (Fla.)
Jonathan Dunn - Northwood (Fla.)
Cliff Warner - Dordt (Iowa)
Bobby Hunter - Oregon Tech
Qadr Owens - Saint Francis (Ind.)
Most Valuable Player: Bobby Hunter, Oregon Tech
Tournament Hustle Award: Kyle Gomez, Oregon Tech
2012 Rawlings NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year: Rollie Massimin, Northwood (Fla.)
2012 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year: Danny Miles, Oregon Tech
Dr. James Naismith/Emil Liston Tournament Sportsmanship Award: Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)
Buffalo Five Star Champions of Character Team: Southwestern (Kan.)