March 07, 2012
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POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - No. 12 Saint Thomas (Fla.) defeated Indiana Tech, 58-55, in the first round at the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. The 2012 event is held at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks (Mo.).
This marks the first-ever win at the national tournament for Saint Thomas, making its fourth overall appearance and first since 2009. Four Bobcats' players scored in double figures, led by Eugene Davis with 14 points while David Nesbitt put in 12, going 6-for-7 from the field.
Saint Thomas opened up its largest lead of the game (31-23) just prior to halftime and led by seven, 45-38, with 12 minutes to go. Indiana Tech scored the next seven points, however, to tie it at 45 and later grabbed just its second lead of the game, 48-47, on a basket by Rodney Bartholomew.
With the score tied at 55, Kevin Hincapie converted 1-of-2 free throws and the Bobcats' defense took over thereafter, holding Indiana Tech scoreless over the final two minutes.
Both teams struggled from the field as Saint Thomas shot 38% compared to 40% for Indiana Tech.
The Warriors were led by Bartholomew with 16 points and 13 rebounds while teammate Melvin Brooks also netted 16 to go with five boards. Indiana Wesleyan ends its season with a 23-8 mark.
Saint Thomas moves to the second round on with a 23-8 overall. The team will face either fifth-seed McPherson (Kan.) or Dakota State (S.D.) at 10:15 a.m. CST on Friday.