SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – (Box Score) No.1 seed Cornerstone (Mich.) led from start to finish as they opened with an impressive 88-68 win over Milligan (Tenn.) in a first round match-up at the 2018 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Cypress Risk Management.
The Golden Eagles, now 29-4 on the season, dazzled the crowd with their dominant inside duo of Kyle Steigenga and Sam Vander Sluis, who scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. Steigenga pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds, headlining a huge edge on the boards for Cornerstone (45-27).
Cornerstone opened up a quick 18-3 lead, behind the shooting of Riley Coston who scored nine of his game-high 18 points in the opening eight minutes. The Golden Eagles led by as many as 26 (47-21) until a late surge by Milligan made it a 19-point game by halftime, 40-21.
The Golden Eagles put the game away with an 11-4 run to start the second half to go up 51-25 on a basket by Vander Sluis. They blistered the nets over the final 20 minutes, shooting better than 70%.
Veteran senior guard was a fourth place Cornerstone player in double figures, scoring 15 points, going 3-for-7 from the arc.
Milligan was led by Daxton Bostian with 18 points and Desean Green scored 16 coming off the bench. The Buffaloes shot 34% for the game and close the season with a 15-14 record.
Cornerstone will play the winner of No.4 Southwestern (Kan). vs No.5 Roosevelt (Ill.) in a second-round match-up on Friday, March 9 at 1:45pm.