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MidAmerica Nazarene Wins First Ever National Championship

March 13, 2007
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March 13, 2007

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - #2 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) defeated #13 Mayville State (N.D.), 78-60, in the title game of the 16th Annual NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. The Pioneers win their first ever men's basketball national championship. The 2007 event is being held at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks (Mo.).

Mayville State stormed out of the gate and scored the first 11 points of the game during the first four minutes of play. Monty Rogers keyed the hot start with six points, all from the field. A 13-6 MidAmerica Nazarene run cut the Comet lead down to four, 17-13. The Comets managed to hold the lead until the final minutes of the first half when the Pioneers scored the final five points to tie the score at 31. Both teams played evenly in the first half, shooting 38% from the field. The Pioneers held a slim 23-20 advantage on the boards but committed three more turnovers than the Comets (9-6).

After the teams exchanged field goals to start the half, MidAmerica Nazarene ripped off a 22-3 run over the next 11 minutes to take command, 55-36. Cal Kiburz had seven points and Danny Hawkins scored six during the decisive run. Mayville came back and cut the lead down to 13 at one point but the Pioneers were too tough down the stretch, leading by as much as 20 in the closing stages of their first ever basketball championship.

Like the prior four tournament wins, the Pioneers had great balance on the offensive end, led by tournament Most Valuable Player, Adam Hepker, with 21 points. The junior also dished out five assists to increase his tournament-high total to 28. Jake Nellor netted 16 points and Danny Hawkins scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Senior Akuien Wour recorded his second double-double of the tournament with 11 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. He also added five blocked shots. The Pioneers shot a much-improved 65% in the second half and limited the Comets to just 26% in the second period.

Monty Rogers was the lone Comet player in double figures with 28 points. The senior was the leading scorer in the tournament with 110 points in five games. Rogers also led Mayville State with nine rebounds. Matthew Stenehjem added nine points for the Comets. Ron Howard, who came into the championship contest averaging nearly 20 points per game in the tournament, was held to just three. The Comets shot 32% from the floor, 13% from beyond the arc. After holding their own on the boards in the first half, Mayville State lost the battle of the boards in the second half, 26-16. Mayville State, making their third consecutive trip to the national tournament and sixth overall, finishes the season with a 27-9 record. They reached the championship final in their first ever trip to the Final Four.

MidAmerica Nazarene, making their third Final Four appearance and 12th trip to the national tournament, finished their championship season with a 34-2 overall record.

All-Tournament Team Guy Rathmell, Cedarville (Ohio) Kale Wiertzema, Northwestern (Iowa) Chad Schuiteman, (Northwestern (Iowa) Aaron Sawyer, Northwest (Wash.) Ron Howard, Mayville State (N.D.) Adam Hepker, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) Monty Rogers, Mayville State (N.D.) Danny Hawkins, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) Matt Stenehjem, Mayville State (N.D.) Akuien Wour, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)

Tournament Most Valuable Player: Adam Hepker-MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)

Tournament Hustle Award: Eric Kruger-Northwestern College (Iowa)

Rawlings-NAIA Division Coach of the Year: Craig Smith-Mayville State (N.D.)

Naismith/Liston Team Sportsmanship Award: Mayville State (N.D.)

Buffalo Funds "5-Star" Champion of Character Team Award: Mount Vernon Nazarene

Tuesday's Championship Game: #2 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (34-2) def. #13 Mayville State (N.D.) (27-9), 78-60

Monday's Final Four Games: # 13 Mayville State (N.D.) (27-8) def. #16 Northwest (Wash.) (27-9), 74-65 #2 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (33-2) def. #11 Northwestern (Iowa) (26-9), 81-71

Saturday Quarter-Final Games: #16 Northwest (Wash) (27-8) def. Cornerstone (Mich.) (25-10), 98-69. #2 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (32-2) def. #10 Indiana Wesleyan (30-5), 77-68 #11 Northwestern (Iowa) (26-8) def. College of the Ozarks (Mo.) (22-11), 73-57 #13 Mayville State (N.D.) (26-8) def. #12 Cedarville (Ohio) (23-8), 82-81

Friday Second Round Scores: Cornerstone (Mich.) (25-9) def. #8 Walsh (Ohio) (28-6), 78-56 #16 Northwest (Wash.) (26-8) def. #1 Bellevue (Neb.) (32-2), 61-56 #10 Indiana Wesleyan (30-4) def. #7 Oregon Tech (28-5), 95-82 #2 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (31-2) def. #15 Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) (25-7), 75-73 #11 Northwestern (Iowa) (25-8) def. #6 Kansas Wesleyan (28-4) vs, 74-54 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) (22-10) def. Spalding (Ky.) (20-14), 66-61 #12 Cedarville (Ohio) (23-7) def. #5 Warner Pacific (Ore.) (28-6), 86-75 #13 Mayville State (N.D.) (25-8) def. Florida Memorial (16-13), 88-72

Thursday First Round Scores: #10 Indiana Wesleyan (29-4) def. Aquinas (Mich.) (22-12), 80-54 #15 Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) (25-6) def. Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) (24-8), 73-72 #7 Oregon Tech (28-4) def. Northwood (Fla.) (23-9), 90-72 #2 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (30-2) def. Trinity International (Ill.) (14-20), 69-59 #5 Warner Pacific (Ore.) (28-5) def. Friends (Kan.) (20-12), 82-75 Florida Memorial (16-12) def. #4 Huntington (Ind.) (29-5), 67-64 #12 Cedarville (Ohio) (22-7) def. Evangel (Mo.) (20-13), 97-83 #13 Mayville State (N.D.) (24-8) def. William Penn (Iowa) (25-9), 101-86

Wednesday First Round Scores: #8 Walsh (Ohio) (28-5) def. King (Tenn.) (23-11), 78-69 Cornerstone (Mich.) (24-9) def. #9 Sioux Falls (S.D.) (28-5), 74-60 #1 Bellevue (Neb.) (32-1) def. Fisher (Mass.) (13-18), 95-54 #16 Northwest (Wash.) (25-8) def. Holy Names (Calif.) (21-12), 86-74 #6 Kansas Wesleyan (28-3) def. Bluefield (Va.) (21-12), 92-77 Spalding (Ky.) (20-13) def. #3 Point Park (Pa.) (29-2), 78-63 Ozarks (Mo.) (21-10) def. #14 Saint Francis (Ind.) (22-11), 91-59 #11 Northwestern (Iowa) (24-8) def. Albertson (Idaho) (19-8), 99-77

TOURNAMENT LEADERBOARD Leading Scorers: Monty Rogers (Mayville State) - 110 (5 gms) Adam Hepker (MidAmerica Nazarene) - 90 (5 gms) Ronald Howard (Mayville State) - 84 (5 gms) Danny Hawkings (MidAmerica Nazarene) - 88 (5 gms) Kale Wiertzema (Northwestern) - 72 (4 gms) Jake Nellor (MidAmerica Nazarene) - 72 (5 gms) Scott O'Gallagher (Warner Pacific)-69 (2 gms) Matthew Stenehjem (Mayville State) - 81 (5 gms) Guy Rathmell (Cedarville) - 60 (3 gms) Chartrea'l Hall (Spalding) - 58 (2 gms) Aaron Sawyer (Northwest) - 56 (4 gms)

Top Rebounders: Chad Schuiteman (Northwestern) - 52 (4 gms) Danny Hawkins (MidAmerica Nazarene) -50 (5 gms) Akuien Wour (MidAmerica Nazarene) - 41 (5 gms) Monty Rogers (Mayville State) - 40 (5 gms) Aaron Sawyer (Northwest) - 38 (4 gms) Scott Thies (Mayville State) - 29 (5 gms) Chartrea'l Hall (Spalding) - 29 (2 gms) Ricardo Alliman (Cedarville) - 27 (3 gms) Zach Coverstone (Indiana Wesleyan) - 26 (3 gms) Cal Kiburz (MidAmerica Nazarene) - 26 (5 gms)

Day One Top Assists: Adam Hepker (MidAmerica Nazarene) - 28 (5 gms) Marques Benjamin (Mayville State) - 21 (5 gms) Brandon Weems (Walsh) - 16 (2 gms) Pat Cooper (Northwest) - 15 (4 gms) Stephen Ishmael (Northwest) - 15 (4 gms) Ronald Howard (Mayville State) - 15 (5 gms) Morgan Axton (Northwest) -- 14 (4 gms) Jake Nellor (MidAmerica Nazarene) - 14 (5 gms) Chad Schuiteman (Northwestern) - 12 (4 gms) Antonio Murrell (Indiana Wesleyan) - 12 (3 gms)

Tournament Double-Doubles Performances: Ryan Norman (William Penn) - 34 pts, 10 reb Michael Bonaparte (Ozarks) - 32 pts, 13 reb Chartea'l Hall (Spalding) - 31 pts, 13 reb Chartrea'l Hall (Spalding) - 27 pts, 16 reb Alex Kock (Huntington) - 26 pts,, 14 reb Omar Reed (Bluefield) - 26 pts, 10 reb Nick Stephens (Holy Names) - 23 pts,, 11 reb Cory McJimson (Northwood) - 23 pts, 10 reb Danny Hawkins (MidAmerica Nazarene) - 20 pts, 10 reb Ryan Seesholtz (Mount Vernon Nazarene) - 17 pts, 11 reb Chris Pullen (Ozarks) - 17 pts, 10 reb Chad Schuiteman (Northwestern) - 17 pts, 10 reb Chivas Whipple (Point Park) - 15 pts, 10 reb John Jonker (Cornerstone) - 14 pts, 12 reb Aaron Sawyer (Northwest) - 14 pts, 11 reb John Gray (Bellevue) - 12 pts, 11 reb Josh Dozier (Holy Names) - 11 pts, 15 reb Andre Thomas (Florida Memorial) - 10 pts, 11 reb Akuien Wour (MidAmerica Nazarene) - 11 pts, 11 reb Chad Schuiteman (Northwestern) - 11 pts, 12 reb Ricardo Alliman (Cedarville) - 14 pts, 10 reb Maical Venter (Cedarville) - 11 pts, 10 reb Monty Rogers (Mayville State) - 21 pts, 13 reb Chad Schuiteman (Northwestern) - 15 pts, 15 reb. Guy Rathmell (Cedarville) - 12 pts, 11 reb. Zach Coverstone (Indiana Wesleyan) - 13 pts, 11 reb. Aaron Sawyer (Northwest) - 18 pts, 11 reb Danny Hawkins (MidAmerica) - 18 pts, 15 reb Chad Schuiteman (Northwestern) -15 pts, 14 reb Akuien Wour (MidAmerica Nazarene) - 11 pts, 15 reb