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Cardinal Stritch Wins Final Spot In Second Round

March 09, 2012
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By Matt Bos, Media Coordinator

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - (Box Score) Sixth-seeded Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) avoided an upset with a come-from-behind 63-60 win over Eastern Oregon in the final game of 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.).

The Wolves (29-5) snap a streak of two straight losses in the first round, and advance to the second round for the first time since 2006. CSU’s 13th consecutive win was not an easy one as the Wolves never led until the final minute, and trailed by as many as 10 points twice in the game.

Cardinal Stritch was paced by Derek Woelffer’s 16 points and nine rebounds. The senior was 7-for-10 from the field. Navjot Singh added 15 points. CSU shot 40 percent from the field, while holding Eastern to 36 percent.

Anthony Brown gave EOU a 60-56 lead with 3:49 remaining in the game, but the Mountaineers would fail to score again. Cardinal Stritch missed its first five 3-point attempts, before Derek Semenas hit a 3-pointer with 1:29 left in the game, cutting the margin to 60-59. After not leading for 39 minutes, Singh made a lay-in at the 1:00 mark of the second half to give the Wolves a 61-60 advantage.

Nick Ford would then hit 2-of-4 free throws in the final 11 seconds to give CSU a three-point cushion. Eastern’s last gasp half-court heave came just inches short, hitting the front of the rim.

The Mountaineers (19-11) were led by Jamar Johnson’s 17 points. Anthony Brown had a double-double performance with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Cardinal Stritch advances to the second round where it will play unseeded Briar Cliff Friday at 9:15pm.