Kansas City, Mo. - (Box Score) No. 14 Montana Western battled back from a 15-point first half deficit and claimed a 99-94 overtime victory over Philander Smith (Ark.) at the 2013 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. The Bulldogs will advance to the second round and play Lee (Tenn.) on Friday, March 15 at 10:45 a.m. CDT. The event is held at Municipal Auditorium.
Kris Collins and Tyler Miller had 22 points each for Montana Western while Maazin Butler finished with 16 points and Jordan Overstreet matched Vince Turk with 11 points apiece. Kris Castro and Jake Owsley pulled down 10 rebounds each for the Bulldogs.
Philander Smith raced out of the gates and led by 15 points midway through the first half. The Panthers used a 16-4 run over 4:34 as Andre Clark started the spurt with a three-point play before D'Alvin Brown hit a three-pointer at the 9:48 mark for a 26-11 advantage.
Montana Western (23-9) trailed by 10 with 10:00 remaining in the second half before Miller and Collins hit back-to-back three-pointers. Collins added another trey with 6:51 in regulation to make it a one-point game. The first of four ties in regulation came with 4:46 to play after a bucket by Butler and Turk sent the game into overtime after Clayton Busby gave Philander Smith its last lead on two free throws with 1:09 to play.
The Bulldogs took control of overtime with 12-straight points after Juvon Demerson scored on the opening possession for the Panthers. Jordan Overstreet hit a three-pointer around a pair of buckets by Collins while Philander Smith missed five-straight shots to fall behind by as much as 11 points.
"We just don't quit," said Montana Western head coach Steve Keller. "We were down by 13, 15 in the first half and our kids didn't quit. In the first half we couldn't keep them off the boards, but I think we did a better job of that in the second half."
After making just 12-of-34 (.353) field goals in the first half, Montana Western converted 59.5 percent (22-of-37) in the second half and overtime and knocked down 16-of-21 free throws.
"(Montana Western) is a very good team and a missed rebound, even while up 15 points, is costly against a good ball club," said Philander Smith head coach Sam Weaver. "In a championship game, it's just the way things happen."
Clark had 22 points and a game-high 15 rebounds to lead six players in double figures for Philander Smith. Clayton Busby finished 16 points while Damarkus Lipscomb tallied 15 points, 11 assists and five steals. Philander Smith ends its season at 25-8.
Montana Western - The Bulldogs are making their fourth-straight appearance at the Division I Men's Basketball National Championships and have advanced to second round in two of the last three trips ... Montana Western improved to 2-1 in overtime games and have won at least 20 games for the fourth-straight season ... The Bulldogs' Kris Collins posted a career-high with 22 points, besting his previous mark of 21 points set on Nov. 17, 2012 against Walla Walla (Wash.).
Philander Smith - The Panthers were making their first-ever appearance in the tournament ... Philander Smith fell to 5-2 in overtime games this season and snapped an overall eight-game winning streak ... The Panthers entered the game as the NAIA Division I leader in free throw percentage (.763), but converted just 53.6 percent (15-for-28) against the Bulldogs.