Late Rally Lifts Lindsey Wilson Past Faulkner, 66-60
Kansas City, Mo. - (Box Score) No. 2 Lindsey Wilson fought off an upset bid by unseeded Faulkner to claim a 66-60 win in the second round of the 2013 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. The Blue Raiders will play MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) in the quarterfinal round on Saturday at 8 p.m. CDT. The event is held at Municipal Auditorium.
Darren Ballou made 5-of-9 three-point shots and finished with a game-high 19 points for Lindsey Wilson. DeAntra Scott and Tony Horne each tallied nine points and combined for 11 rebounds for the Blue Raiders while Kalen Kimberland recorded seven points, six rebounds and six assists.
"Our heart and our seniors carried us to this win," said Lindsey Wilson head coach Paul Peck. "Faulkner outplayed us for much of the game but our guys simply refused to give up on this season. Our play in the final minutes of each half was critical to us pulling this one out."
The Blue Raiders were in jeopardy of leaving the tournament after a sluggish start that saw Faulkner claim a 27-16 lead at the 4:32 mark. However, Ballou finished the half with a pair of three-pointers and scored eight points in the final 2:45 for a 31-29 deficit at intermission.
The Eagles pushed the lead back to eight points with 12:50 remaining, scoring seven-straight points after the Blue Raiders had closed within one for the second time. Lindsey Wilson responded with a 10-2 run of its own to tie the game with 9:05 remaining.
A six-point spurt by Faulkner stretched broke a 52-52 tie after a three-pointer by Di'mar Hill, but Chris Bridges hit back-to-back three-pointers to highlight a game-ending 14-2 scoring advantage. The Eagles managed just one field goal in the final 3:53 while the Blue Raiders converted five free throws after the long-range connections by Bridges, his only points of the game.
"The last three or four minutes we just mishandled the basketball," said Faulkner head coach Jim Sanderson. "Some of it was due to (Lindsey Wilson's) pressure and some of it was we just didn't catch the ball or hold on to the ball. There was a lot of nervous energy down the stretch."
Lindsey Wilson (31-4) shot just 38.0 percent (19-of-50) from the field and committed 17 turnovers, but claimed a 9-3 advantage in three-point field goals and converted 19-of-28 free throws. Faulkner converted 23-of-49 field goal attempts for a .469 shooting clip, but finished 3-of-15 (.200) from three-point range and coughed up 20 turnovers that led to 29 points for the Blue Raiders.
Hill hit 7-of-8 shots off the bench and finished with a team-best 16 points for Faulkner while Jake Mitchell added 14 points and Cyrille Sandjon tallied 12 points and six rebounds. The Eagles committed 12 turnovers in the second half, made 1-of-6 three-point shots and only 6-of-12 free throws to finish the game 11-of-19 at the charity stripe.
Faulkner ends its season at 29-6.
Faulkner - The Eagles fell to 11-8 all-time in the Division I Men's Basketball Championship ... Faulkner failed to advance out of the second round after winning its previous three trips, including a 81-79 win over Lindsey Wilson in the 2000 tournament ... The Eagles' Jake Mitchell scored in double figures for the sixth time in seven games.
Lindsey Wilson - The Blue Raiders will be looking for their first-ever quarterfinal round victory after losing in that stage of the 2004 and 2006 tournaments ... Lindsey Wilson improved to 8-10 all-time in their 11th appearance and 3-2 in the round of 16 ... The Blue Raiders improved to 3-1 all-time against Faulkner, including a pair of wins in the national tournament ... Darren Ballou recorded a career-high point total in the game, besting his previous high of 17 points.