Davenport Clinches Final Spot in Fab Four
By Matt Bos, Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - (Box score) The semifinals are set as No. 3 Davenport (Mich.) defeats No. 6 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), 68-54, in the last quarterfinal contest at the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. The 2012 event is being played at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of the College of the Ozarks.
This was a rematch of a game earlier in the season in which Cardinal Stritch handed the Panthers one of its four losses of the season, 70-59, on a neutral floor. Davenport, however, got its revenge as the Panthers went on an early 19-6 run, sparked by JaVontae Ford and James Nelson, who combined for 10 points during that stretch. Davenport led by 36-29 at the break.
A basket by Navjot Singh put Cardinal Stritch to within five to start the second half but the Panthers answered back with an 8-1 run to push the lead back to 12. They were up 14 with four minutes to go before the Wolves made one final charge and were within seven (57-50) after a basket by Derek Woelffer. A three-point play by Lonnie Fairfax and some clutch free throw shooting secured the win and a spot in their first ever Fab Four.
Nelson led Davenport with a game-high 23 points, nine coming from the three-point line. Fairfax put in 15 and dished out six assists. Damacious White added 11 points for the Panthers.
Cardinal Stritch was led by Derek Semanas and Singh with 14 points each. Woelffer chipped in 10 points and five rebounds. The Wolves had an off shooting night, making just 36% of their field goal attempts. Cardinal Stritch had its 14-game win streak snapped and ends with a 30-6 record.
Davenport moves on with a 32-4 record and will play No. 2 Oregon Tech in the semifinals on Monday, March 12 at 8:00 p.m. CST.