Grace Punches Final Ticket Into the Semifinals
Matt Bos-Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. (Box Score)- Monday's semifinal is set as Grace (Ind.) earns a 72-59 victory over Dakota State (S.D.) in the final quarterfinal game of the 2013 NAIA Division II Men's National Basketball Championship. The 2013 event is being held at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks.
Tannen Peters and Karl Columbus shared game-high honors with 18 points each to lead Grace offensively. Peters went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc and keyed an early second half run that put Grace over the top. Elliot Smith and Bruce Grimm, Jr. both scored 12 and Greg Miller added 10 points for the balanced Lancers offense.
The first 10 minutes went back and forth, with each team taking turns holding the lead. Tied at 16, Grace outscored Dakota State 11-3, holding Dakota State without a field goal for nearly nine minutes to open up a 31-22 advantage. The Trojans came back to cut it to one by the break, 35-34, with Yusaf Viinson scoring six points during the late half surge.
Another basket by Vinson gave Dakota State its only lead early in the second half but Grace went on a 9-0 run behind the shooting prowess of Peters, leading the Lancers to a double digit lead. With its season on the line, Dakota State made one final push and got within four but the Lancers defense took over, holding DSU to just two field goals over the final seven minutes.
Dakota State was held in check offensively, limited to 36% from the field. Vinson and John Lamb led the Trojans in scoring with 14 points and Marcus Smith added 12. Dakota State, playing in its first quarterfinal game since 1992, bows out with a 24-10 record.
Grace improves its record to 24-9 and will play top seed William Penn (Iowa) in the semifinals on Monday, March 11 at 6:00pm. The 32-team, single elimination tournament concludes Tuesday, March 12, with the championship game to tip-off at 8 pm.