Kansas City, Mo. - (Box Score) Culver-Stockton (Mo.) recorded the biggest upset of the opening round of the 2013 Buffalo-Funds NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship thus far, posting an 88-70 win over No. 5 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho). The Wildcats will advance to the second round and play Concordia (Calif.) on Friday at 2:15 p.m. CDT. The event is held at Municipal Auditorium.
Austin Keaton led all scorers with 25 points, all coming in the second half, and connected on 7-of-14 three-point shots for Culver-Stockton (25-8), which made its first tournament appearance since 1959. Marshawn Norris finished with 18 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and six steals while C.J. Adams was 6-of-9 from the field and tallied 15 points.
"We just played with so much confidence," said Culver-Stockton head coach Jack Schrader. "We have confidence in ourselves, and it shows even when things aren't going our way. It is the way we have played all season, and today was no different. Our guys just keep coming at you."
It was a tale of two halves for Culver-Stockton from outside. The Wildcats made just 1-of-14 (.071) three-point shots in the first half and missed 17-straight from beyond the arc, but made 9-of-12 to close the game and 10-of-30 in total. Keaton missed his first five long-range attempts before hitting seven of his next eight three-point efforts.
Lewis-Clark State dictated the tempo in the first half, pushing the ball inside with effectiveness as frontcourt players Nick Fromm, Danny Marshall and P.J. Bolte combined for 20 of the 30 first-half points for the Warriors. The teams traded the lead 10 times into the second half before the Wildcats' three-point barrage began.Keaton made his first connection with 13:38 to play as part of a 9-0 run for a 47-38 lead. The Warriors scored seven-straight points to close within two, but the Wildcats answered with another 15-4 spurt that included four of Keaton's three-pointers for a 64-51 cushion.
"I thought that (Culver-Stockton) came out and hit some big shots in the second half," said Lewis-Clark State head coach Brandon Rinta. "They're a very good three-point shooting team. I don't feel like we defended the way we are capable of, but that's a good team, a very potent offensive team."
Bolte finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead Lewis-Clark State, while Marshall tallied 17 points and five rebounds. Fromm and Donte Archie each chipped in with 10 points with Archie tallying eight rebounds and four assists for the Warriors. Lewis-Clark State ends its season at 26-6.
Culver-Stockton - The Wildcats are making their sixth appearance in the Division I Men's Basketball National Championship and picked up their first win since earning a 55-51 triumph over Wichita (Kan.) in the 1946 event ... Culver-Stockton improved to 4-5 all-time in the tournament ... The Wildcats have won 25 games this season, one shy of matching their combined win total from the previous five seasons ... Culver-Stockton's Austin Keaton was one shy of matching teammate James Johnson's school record of eight three-point field goals in a game, set on Jan. 10, 2013 against Central Methodist.
Lewis-Clark State - The Warriors returned to the tournament for the first time since 2008 and was making its ninth all-time appearance, falling to 2-9 after the loss ... Lewis-Clark State lost for just the third time this season when leading at halftime ... The Warriors' P.J. Bolte collected his fifth double-double of the season and scored in double figures for the 26th time this season despite not starting a game.