Matt Bos-Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. (Box Score) - #4 Northwestern College lost to unseeded Cali Maritime 76-54 in the first round of the 2013 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. The 2013 event is being played at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.
The Red Raiders held its only lead after a Zack Leeper basket to start the game. Cal Maritime came back with a 9-2 run behind three straight three-pointers by three different players. After Northwestern cut it to five, the Keelhaulers went on another 8-0 run, holding the Red Raiders scoreless for over four minutes, to lead 21-9. Cal Maritime extended its lead to 14 by the break, 32-18.
Both teams shot poorly in the first half with Northwestern at 27% while Cal Maritime went 32% from the field but 41% (7/17) from the three-point arc.
Northwestern immediately cut it to nine at the start of the second half behind a pair of free throws and a three-pointer by senior Ben Miller. The Keelhaulers had an answer for every run, however, and outscored the Red Raiders 14-3 over a seven-minute span to open up a 46-26 advantage. Northwestern made one final charge, scoring 10 straight points, six by Miller, and cut it to 10 (48-38) but that is as close as they would get as Cal Maritime held off the rally to earn its first ever win at the national championship.
Northwestern struggled from the field all game, shooting a season-low 28% and just 23% (5-for-22) from beyond the arc. Miller led all scorers with 23 points and was the only Red Raider player in double figures. Northwestern held a 38-33 advantage on the glass, led by Miller with 11 for his 11 double-double this season. They finish the season with a 24-7 overall record.
Cal Maritime shot 40% for the game and 44% (10-for-23) from the three-point arc. Casey Healy scored 15 points, nine from beyond the arc, and Keven Campbell added 12. Jaquai Wiley added 10 points and five rebounds.
The Keelhaulers improve to 25-6 and will play Grace (Ind.) in the second round. The 32-team, single elimination tournament concludes Tuesday, March 12, with the championship game to tip-off at 8 pm.