SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Box Score) – Xavier Cannefax scored a game-high 22 points and De’Jon Bowman recorded his 14th double-double of the season, leading No. 4 Warner Pacific (Ore.) to a 68-57 victory over No. 5 Southeastern (Fla.) in a first round match-up at the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship, presented by Cypress Risk Management.
The Knights (24-9) withstood a rough shooting night from the field to outscore SEU 17-7 at the free throw line in advancing to tomorrow’s second-round.
WPU led early 5-0, but the Fire (21-10) used a 10-0 run to take their first lead, a margin that would balloon to 22-15 on a Josiah Barsh jumper. The Knights would chip away at the deficit, pulling even at 32-32 at the break.
Cannefax took over from there, scoring eight early points in the second half – as the Knights never trailed after the break – holding SEU to just one made field goal over a crucial seven-minute stretch, as the lead extended to 53-44.
Bowman had 13 points and 20 rebounds – his fifth game this season with 15 or more rebounds. Collin Malcolm had 10 points and 10 rebounds, with Brandon Bell scoring 10 off the bench, as WPU withstood a 1-of-11 shooting night from 3-point range.
C.J. Reese led the Fire with 15 points and Grant Bryant had 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds. SEU converted just 35-percent of their field goal attempts, including just 4-of-27 shooting from long range.
Warner Pacific advances to meet the winner of today’s Morningside (Iowa)-Trinity International (Ill.) match-up tomorrow at 5:45 p.m. (CST).