Story By Andy Pulverenti | NAIA Staff
Photos courtesy of Referee Photo
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Box Score) No.4-seeded LSU Alexandria (La.) pulled away from No. 5-seeded Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) in the first round of the 2018 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship, 77-71, Wednesday morning inside Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Mo.
The Generals advance to the second round for the third-straight year and will play the winner of No. 1-seeded The Mater’s (Calif.) and No. 8-seeded Peru State (Neb.), in the second round Friday at 12:30 p.m. CDT.
- LSU Alexandria (La.) improves to 26-7 on the season, and advances to the second round for the third-straight tournament.
- Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) ends its season with a 23-10 record.
- LSU-Alexandria Guard Jordin Williams scored 23 points, the seventeenth time this season he has scored 20 or more points.
- LSU Alexandria Center William Clairborn was perfect from the field, 6 of 6 shooting, and finished with 17 points.
- Lewis-Clark State Guard Dana Abe came off the bench to leads his team with 21 points, including 8 of 8 from the free throw line.
- Lewis-Clark State Guard Cory Dollarhide scored 16 points coming off the bench.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- LSU Alexandria went on a 16-2 run over a more than four-minute stretch early in the first half to build up a 16-5 lead with 15:44 to play before halftime. Chris Vickers started the run with a three-point field goal, and ended the run with a three-point field goal.
- Lewis-Clark State trailed 20-9 with 12:49 to play in the half, but chipped away at its deficit, eventually tying the game at 27-27 with 7:41 remaining on a three-pointer from Cory Dollarhide.
- Lewis-Clark State took its first lead since the early moments of the first half with another Dollarhide three-point field goal, putting the score at 34-33 with 3:27 on the clock.
- Chris Vickers hit a field goal in the paint as time expired in the first half, giving LSU Alexandria a 39-37 lead at halftime.
- Lewis-Clark State held a lead through most of the opening six minutes of the second half, but a field from Jordin Williams brought LSU Alexandria back to a 49-49 tie with 13:24 to play.
- A free throw from Chris Vickers put LSU Alexandria at a 58-51 lead, just past the midway point of the second half.
- Two free throws from Dana Abe, plus a steal and layup from Cory Dollarhide put Lewis-Clark State in a 69-66 deficit with 1:09 remaining, but LSU Alexandria made seven free throws in the final minute to preserve a 77-71 win.
HOW THEY SAW IT
- LSU Alexandria Head Coach Larry Cordaro: “It took us to the second half to really lock in defensively. We guarded harder early to midway through the second half, and I think that was the difference in the ball game, where we kept them to single-digits for about a ten-minute span, plus we were able to turn them over 19 times, which is unusual for them, since they are a well-coached team.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- LSU Alexandria forced Lewis-Clark into a tying a season-high in turnovers (19), which turned into 25 points for the Generals.
- Lewis-Clark State finished with 37 points coming off its bench, including Dana Abe topping 20 points for the third time this season.
- LSU Alexandria finished 22 of 29 from the free throw line, while Lewis-Clark was 15 of 18 in free throws.
Lewis-Clark State appeared in its 13th NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship on Wednesday and is now 3-13 all-time at the event…Head Coach Brandon Rinta is in his seventh season as head coach of the Warriors and is now 187-72 in his career…They end their 2017-18 campaign with a record of 23-10…Lewis-Clark State shot 44.8-percent from the field in the first half and was nearly perfect at the free-throw line, shooting 7-of-8, good for 87.5-percent…Cory Dollarhide led the team in scoring in the first half with 12 points and the Warrior defense caused six first-half turnovers…At the half, LSU Alexandria led 39-37…Lewis-Clark State had 23 bench points in the first half, led by Dana Abe’s 11…The Warriors finished the game outscoring LSU-A, 37-24, in bench points for the game…Lewis-Clark State is one of three teams that qualified for the National Championship from the Frontier Conference…The Warriors ended the game shooting 42.9-percent from the field and 15-of-18 from the free-throw line, good for 83.3-percent…Dana Abe led the Warriors in scoring with 21 points and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line…The Warriors turned the ball over 19 times, while forcing 14 LSU Alexandria turnovers…The game featured six ties and nine lead changes…Lewis-Clark State outrebounded the Generals, 31-30, Derrick White, Dollarhide and Abe all led the way in boards with five each…The Warriors hit four three-point field goals in each half and finished shooting 34.8-percent from behind the arc in the contest.
Qualified for the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championships for the fourth-straight year in program history... Heading into this morning’s match with Lewis-Clark State, the Generals had won seven in-a-row, including the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament Championship over Langston, 82-75… The Generals are now 5-3 all-time at the national tournament…The Generals are looking to match their highest finish at the tournament, which was last season as they fell to Life (Ga.) in the Semis…The Generals have improved steadily at the tournament, winning their first game in 2016 with three victories last year…LSU-Alexandria is one of three teams from the Red River Athletic Conference to compete on the national stage…The Generals head into the tournament ranked No. 14…Six of the seven losses the Generals have on the year have come to teams that are at the national tournament…The Generals have a 6-6 record against eight different teams that qualified for the national tournament…Despite holding a 39-37 lead at the half, not a single General was in double digits…