March 10, 2012
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POINT LOOKOUT, Mo.— (Box Score) Samson Shivers knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer with 14 seconds left in leading No. 5 McPherson (Kan.) to an improbable 82-78 come-from-behind win over No. 4 Dordt (Iowa) in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship.
Down seven with 51 seconds to go, Shivers hit the first of his two 3-pointers in the final 35 seconds and started one of the biggest comebacks in tournament history. Dordt missed two free throws on the ensuing possession and McPherson cut the lead to one on a 3-pointer by Aaron Frazier. A Defenders turnover on the inbound pass gave the Bulldogs the basketball back and Shivers drained another 3-pointer to give his team its first lead of the second half (80-78) with 14 seconds left.
With the ball at midcourt, McPherson stole the Defenders inbounds pass and the Bulldogs capped off their comeback with a pair of Chris Crawford free throws with two seconds left. McPherson shot 49 percent from the field and had five players score in double figures. Jordan Crawford totaled 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Shivers was right behind with 13 points, scoring nine from the 3-point line. Adam Bruner added 12 for the Bulldogs, who advance to their first ever semifinal.
The Bulldogs started the game strong, jumping out to an 18-8 lead. Dordt fought its way back to one after a 14-5 run behind the play of junior point guard Cliff Warner, who drained four consecutive 3-pointers. A basket by Jordan Vogel moments later put the Defenders up one and the teams traded baskets over the next few minutes and Dordt led by three (35-32) at the half.
The Defenders continued to make a push early in the second half, taking its largest lead of the game (52-42) on a pair of Warner free throws at the 13-minute mark. McPherson battled back and tied the game at 67 after a Shivers 3-pointer, but Dordt answered with an 11-4 run, sparked by another Warner three, and led 78-71 with 51 seconds left.
Warner scored a game-high 24 points, making 6-of-10 three-pointers, to lead the Defenders. Both Trevor Wolterstorff and Chris Sievers put in 13 points each. Dordt shot 48 percent for the game and ends the season with a 30-5 record.
McPherson improves to 33-3 on the year and will play either No. 1 Northwood (Fla.) or No. 8 Northwest (Wash.) in the semifinals on Monday, March 12 at 6:00pm.