By Alan Grosbach | NAIA Staff
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Box score) Defending national champion Georgetown (Ky.) kept its quest alive for a second-straight title with a 98-90 victory over No. 3 William Carey (Miss.) in second round action of the 2014 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship in Municipal Auditorium. The 14th-seeded Tigers will face the winner of No. 6 Vanguard (Calif.) and No. 11 Benedictine (Kan.) on Saturday at 4 p.m. CDT in the quarterfinals.
For the second-straight game, Monty Wilson led the charge for Georgetown with 25 points on 9-for-18 shooting and a 6-for-10 effort at the free throw line. Through two games at this year’s national championship, Wilson has scored 64 points (32 points per game average), including a near season-high 39-point effort in the Tigers’ first round victory against Wayland Baptist (Texas).
Joining Wilson in double figures, was Deondre McWhorter and Noah Cottrill with 20 points each, marking the second time at this year’s championship that three individuals from one team have scored at least 20 points each. The first came in No. 6 Vanguard’s (Calif.) first round win against Life (Ga.).
As a unit, Georgetown shot 51.7 percent (31-for-60), while also holding a 28-17 scoring advantage at the free throw line.
“We’ve been in tough games before,” said Georgetown head coach Chris Briggs. “We’ve gotten down like that and are used to fighting and clawing back. The guys stick together and toughen up. We got out in transition and that was the key.”
William Carey, which was appearing in its first second round contest since 1984, opened the game with a 20-8 run, capped by a layup by Daron Bell. The Crusaders, who opened the game with three-straight 3-pointers, were 8-for-12 during the run with 10 points coming from Bell.
Five minutes later, back-to-back 3-pointers by Donovan Walker pushed the William Carey advantage out to 34-15 midway through the half. Georgetown’s prolific offense would not stay quite the entire half, outscoring William Carey 26-13 the remainder of the period en route to a 47-41 score at the break.
Similarly to the start of the game, William Carey surged out of the break to a 59-45 lead only five minutes into the stanza. However, the Tigers would not go away. Georgetown tightened the margin to two, 63-61, with a 12-1 run, highlighted by a two-handed dunk by Montavious Marc.
The Tigers took their first lead of the contest, 75-72, three minutes later on one of Cottrill’s team-high three 3-pointers. The lead changed hands twice over the course of the next four minutes until a pair of Marc free throws gave Georgetown the lead for good.
“We got off to such a good start and it kind of rattled them a bit, but they gathered themselves and made a nice run,” said William Carey head coach Steve Knight. “After that they dug in on the defensive end and got some stops to get some momentum going into the half. In the second half, they did an excellent job of taking care of the ball against our press, which limited our opportunities.”
Bell led all scorers with a season-high 30 points, including 20 points in the second half. He was joined in double-digits by four other Crusaders – Donovan Walker (15), Kelvin Nixon (14), Jeremiah Dunnings (13) and Stefan Sartori (11).
Overall, William Carey ended the night shooting 44.3 percent (31-for-70), including a 11-for-25 effort from 3-point range.
William Carey finishes the season with a 28-3 record.
Georgetown – Georgetown advances to the quarterfinals for the fourth-straight season … 11th time this season that Monty Wilson has scored over 20 points. He has a total of 64 points in two games at the national championship … Wilson has scored in double figures in six-straight championship games … Six blocks defensively matches tournament high with MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), St. Gregory’s (Okla.) and William Carey (Miss.)
William Carey – The 199 points scored by William Carey is the most points scored by a team over the first two rounds of the tournament the last 10 years … the 30-point effort by Daron Bell set a new season-high … Bell’s previous high was 27 points against Xavier (La.) on Dec. 3 … Tonight’s game is the seventh time William Carey converted 10-or-more 3-pointers.