Wild Finish Puts William Penn Into Second Round
By Matt Bos, NAIA Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - (Box Score)- William Penn (Iowa) and no. 6 Dordt (Iowa) put on a show in one of the most memorable games ever played at the NAIA Division II National Championship. The Statesmen outlasted the Defenders 118-116 in a record setting double-overtime contest to determine the final team to advance into the second round.
The teams combined for 234 points, easily breaking the old mark for most points in game by both teams (222) set by Cornerstone (Mich.) and Bethel (Ind.) in 1999.
Down one with under a minute to go, William Penn guard Kelly Madison drained a long, step back three-pointer from the left wing that proved to be the game winner and gave the Statesmen a two-point lead. Dordt turned it over on its next possession and, forced to foul, put Tyler Stahle at the line where he missed both free throws, giving the Defenders one last chance. A floater by Defender forward Kyle Lindbergh was just off the mark and the Statesmen tipped out the rebound to preserve the win.
This one was nearly decided in regulation but Dordt mounted an improbable comeback during the final minute to erase a seven-point deficit. Down 96-89, Bryan Sumner began the rally with a three-pointer and then Austin Katje made a lay-up after a steal to put the lead at just two, 96-94. Two free throws by Alex Schwab put the Statesmen back up four but Sumner followed with another three-pointer to cut the lead to one. After a Dordt foul, Schwab put William Penn up two (99-97) with 1-of-2 free throws but Nathan Rindels drew a foul on a drive and converted both free throws to send the game into overtime tied at 99.
Both teams scored to start the first overtime but a Katje three-pointer, his eighth of the game, put the Defenders in front 104-101. William Penn briefly grabbed the lead back on a basket and two free throws but Dordt converted on back-to-back double bonuses and pulled ahead 108-105. The Statesmen, however, tied the game from the free throw line, going 3-for-4 over the final two minutes after fouling out three Defenders’ starters within a span of 90 seconds. Tied at 108, Dordt missed on a chance to win it when a Sumner three-pointer was just off.
In total, there were 10 top-five single game performances set by team and individual players. The teams combined to tie for the fourth most three-pointers attempted (62), 36 by the Defenders, tied for the fifth most by single team. Dordt also tied for the second most rebounds (60) and tied for the third most fouls (33).
Madison scored a 2014 championship-best 38 points while Schwab scored 27, tying the mark for the third most free throws made (17) and fourth-most free throws attempted (19) in a game. Blake Walker registered a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Dordt was led by Katje with 33 points, tying for the third most three-pointers made (8) and attempted (18). Rindels tallied a triple-double as well, with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists, matching the third most assists in a single game at the championship. Two Defenders, Lindbergh (20,10) and Dalton Franken (25,10) recorded double-doubles. Dordt played the entire second overtime with just one starter (Lindbergh) on the floor due to fouls.
The Defenders jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead but William Penn turned things in its favor with a 12-2 run to go up double-digits by half, 49-38. The Statesmen led by as many as 14 in the second frame but could not put Dordt away.
William Penn, now 23-9, will play no. 11 St. Thomas (Fla.) in the second round on Friday at 9:15pm.