Matt Bos-Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. (Box Score) - A Tyrone Gordon, Jr. tip-in with 31 seconds left lifted Dakota State (S.D) past St. Thomas (Fla.) 61-60 in the second round of the 2013 NAIA Division II Men's National Basketball Championship. The Trojans earned the final spot into Saturday's quarterfinal round.
Trailing by one with a minute to go, Dakota State missed on a couple of go-ahead chances before Gordon broke free underneath and tipped the game-winner with 31 seconds left. With plenty of time left, St. Thomas worked the ball around but missed a pair of open looks and a last-ditch three-pointer feel short which sent Dakota State in a celebration at midcourt.
The game was dominated on the defensive end as both teams held down the opposing offenses. Dakota State shot 44% from the field and was led by Luke Lamb with 14 points while Cameron Krump scored 11. The Trojans were just 5-for-20 from the three-point line.
Neither team was able to pull away early in a highly competitive first half of play. Down five, Dakota State scored 12 straight points to open up a 23-16 advantage. The Trojans used another 7-0 run later and led by eight before St. Thomas scored the final five points to get within three, 30-27, at the break.
The lead was never more than six in a very close second second half.
St. Thomas was held to just 37% from the field and just 21% (4-for-19) from the three-point arc. Davorn Bryant led the Bobcats with 16 points and Kevin Hincapie netted 14. St. Thomas ends the season with a 21-12 record.
Making just its third championship appearance, Dakota State advances to the quarterfinals for the second time and first since 1992. They will play Grace (Ind.) in the final game on Saturday at 7:00pm. The 32-team, single elimination tournament concludes Tuesday, March 12, with the championship game to tip-off at 8 pm.