Concordia Rides 3-Point Shooting to Fab Four
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - (Box score) The threes came pouring down on No. 12-seeded LSU Shreveport in the first half on Saturday as fourth-seeded Concordia (Calif.) won going away, 84-65, in the quarterfinals of the 75th Anniversary Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. The Eagles will make their first Fab Four appearance since 2007 and fourth all-time.
Concordia will play No. 1 Shorter (Ga.) on Monday at 6 p.m. CDT, in the first semifinal contest of the day.
"Tommy Granado and Dakota Downs did a great job going right at them in the paint," Concordia head coach Ken Ammann said. "It was a great team effort. That is all there really is to say. I am so proud of our guys."
The Eagles controlled play from the opening tip, racing out to an 18-6 advantage at the 15:51 mark after a Cameron Gliddon 3-pointer. Gliddon's three first-half triplets were part of a barrage of long-range bombs by Concordia, which nailed eight of its first 11 attempts from beyond the arc. The Eagles connected on treys on three-straight possessions spanning from the 16:53 to the 15:51 mark of the opening stanza. Tommy Stangl and Austin Simon initiated the run by capitalizing on 3-point shots of their own.
"First off, they are a great basketball team," LSU Shreveport head coach Chad McDowell said. "We're a pretty good basketball team also. I want to tip my hat and give them credit.They were making shots and we just dug ourselves such a hole."
The game was all but decided in the first half as Concordia shot a sizzling 61.3 percent (19-for-31) from the field and 61.5 percent (8-for-13) from deep. The Eagles took a 50-25 lead to the break and cruised the rest of the way.
Concordia slumped to 1-for-8 from the 3-point arc in the second half, but managed to extend the margin to 67-39 with 13:38 left after a Downs basket in the paint. The final 19-point spread, which was the largest victory margin in a quarterfinal matchup since Mountain State (W.Va.) tagged Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 72-51 in 2008, was the closest the Pilots would get throughout the remainder of the game.
Gliddon, who has drilled 14-of-24 3-point attempts in his first three games at the tournament, finished with 14 points following outputs of 30 and 20 points, respectively, in games one and two for the Eagles. Simon's 17 points paced Concordia, which shot 48.4 percent (31-for-64) for the game.
LSU Shreveport's Greg Shyne led all players with 21 points on 8-for-21 shooting. Shyne dropped 18 points in the first-round win over Xavier (La.) and 32 points in the second-round victory over Southern Poly (Ga.). The Pilots' Derrick Parker registered a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
The Pilots held a 43-34 advantage on the glass, but turned it over 17 times compared to only eight for Concordia. The Eagle offense ran efficiently as they assisted on 22 of their 31 field goals.
Concordia improved to 29-7 this season and 22-8 all-time in its 10 national tournament appearances. LSU Shreveport ends its season at 27-8 overall and fell to 5-8 in eight appearances at the National Championship.
Concordia - Concordia is 4-3 all-time in quarterfinal round games and 22-8 overall at the national tournament in 10 tournament showings ... The Eagles return to the Fab Four for the first time since 2007 when they lost in the national championship game to Oklahoma City ... Concordia leads all teams at the national tournament with 30 made three-point field goals ... The Eagles have hit nine or more three-pointers in 13 games this season and are 12-1 in those contests.
LSU Shreveport - LSU Shreveport finished with at least 27 wins for the third-straight season and fourth time in five campaigns ... The Pilots went 5-5 this season when committing at least 17 turnovers ... LSU Shreveport qualified for its first-ever quarterfinal round game in its eighth appearance at the national tournament and has an all-time record of 5-8 ... Senior guard Greg Shyne scored 20 or more points for the 19th time this season.