Dordt Punches First Ticket Into Quarterfinals
By Matt Bos, Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - (box score) The No. 4 seed Dordt Defenders (Iowa) withstood a 16-0 run by the Warner Pacific Knights (Ore.) to prevail 77-70 in the second round of the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri.
The Defenders started slowly, getting behind 7-3 before a timeout triggered an 11-0 run for a lead they never relinquished. Dordt extended the lead to 39-22 at the halftime intermission and pushed the lead to 52-34 with 13:51 left in the game on a pair of Cliff Warner free throws. The free throws were the last points Dordt scored until a three-point shot by Warner ended a five minute drought. In the meantime, the Knights converted seven field goals for 16 straight points. Warner's shot made it 55-50.
Dordt's lead was two again at the 1:28 mark but four straight free throws by their point guard made it a two possession game and Dordt held on to win, 77-70.
Warner led Dordt's attack with 26 points, converting 6-of-12 field goals and 9-of-9 free throws. He also had six rebounds and three assists with one steal. Austin Katje converted 6-of-10 shots-5-of-9 of them 3-pointers, for 17 points and he also had three assists and five rebounds. Jordan Vogel added 14 for the Defenders and shared game honors with Warner in rebounds with six.
The Great Plains Athletic Conference regular-season champion made 24-of-45 shots and 10-of-25 three-point baskets and they cashed in on 19-of-24 free throws. The Defenders held a 32-22 rebounding advantage but were hampered by turnovers for the second game in row, committing 22 turnovers.
Warner Pacific's Dane Johnson kept his team in the game with 19 points and eight assists with two steals. William Sharp and Doug Thomas had 15 and 11 points, respectively and Sean Gaines had five steals. The Knights, recipients of an at-large berth to the tournament after finishing third in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, were 30-of-65 from the floor and 7-2of-3 on three-pointers. Warner Pacific converted 3-of-6 free throws and committed 11 turnovers.
Dordt advances to the quarterfinal round of the tournament with a 30-4 record and will face the winner of the McPherson (Kan.) and St. Thomas (Fla.) game at 1:00 p.m. CST on Saturday. Warner Pacific closes the season with a 24-9 record.