SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Box Score)- No. 4 seed Southwestern (Kan.) held off No. 5 seed Roosevelt’s (Ill.) late second-half rally, earning a 65-55 victory in the first round of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship, presented by Cypress Risk Management.
The Moundbuilders, Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Champion, posted their first-ever national tournament victory in four appearances (was 0-3 record in national tournament play prior to tonight’s game).
Holding a slim 42-39 lead in the second-half, Southwestern went on a 9-0 surge from four different scorers for the biggest lead of the game at 51-40 with 8:35 remaining. Roosevelt would get no closer than four (57-53) with 3:19 remaining and Southwestern then sealed the victory with an 8-2 run to close the game.
The Moundbuilders had a balanced scoring attack, paced by junior Cameron Hunt with 14 points. He also had a game-high seven assists and pulled down six rebounds. LaJuan Hardy scored 12 points off the bench and Myron Fisher added 11 points (4-of-4 field goals, including 3-of-3 from the 3-point line).
Jake Ludwig paced Roosevelt with 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Adam Alexander added 12 points and six boards.
Roosevelt, Chicagoland College Athletic Conference Tournament Runner-up, completed their 2017-18 season with an overall record of 26-8.
Southwestern, now 27-7, moves on to the second round of the Liston Bracket on Friday afternoon against No. 1 seed Cornerstone (Mich.) at 1:45p.m.