SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – (Box Score) IU East lived up to its top overall seed as they cruised to a 91-79 win over Voorhees (S.C) in the first round of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Cypress Risk Management, held today at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
After Voorhees scored the first four points for its only lead of the game, IU-East began a 14-2 run, capped by a Grant Leach three-pointer, for a 14-6 advantage. The Red Wolves extended their lead out to as much as 17 in the opening 20 minutes, shooting over 50% from the field, and led 44-32 at the break.
IU-East quickly pushed its lead to 20 points and led by double figures for the duration of the final half. The Red Wolves advance out of the first round for the third straight year.
Lucas Huffman netted 18 points to lead a balanced scoring effort by the Red Wolves. Returning All-American Jacoby Claypool added 15 and Nate Niehoff contributed 12 points coming off the bench.
Championship newcomer Voorhees was led by Alex Brooks with a game-high 21 points and Ashton Pierce added a double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds). The Tigers close the season at 18-11.
IU East moves on with a 32-2 overall record and will the winner of No.4 Oklahoma Wesleyan / No.5 Bethel (Ind.) in a second round match-up on Friday, March 9 at 8:30am.