Story By Eric Montgomery | Media Coordinator
Photos courtesy of Referee Photo
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Box Score) No. 2-seeded Carroll (Mont.) overcame a deficit midway through the second half to reclaim the lead and defeat Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), 61-53, in a low-scoring first round contest Thursday afternoon at the 2018 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship inside Municipal Auditorium. Carroll advances to the second round and will play the winner of Hope International (Calif.) and Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), Friday at 9:15 p.m. CDT.
- Carroll (Mont.) improves to 28-5, and advances to the second round for the third-straight year, and fourth-consecutive appearance overall in the NAIA National Championship
- Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) sees its season end with a 24-9 record
- Carroll Guard Ryan Imhoff recorded his 10th double-double of the season, scoring 30 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He finished 14 of 21 from the floor.
- Carroll Forward Match Burnham was the only other Saint in double-figures, finishing with 12 points.
- Lindsey Wilson Center Nic Brown finished the season with his ninth double-double, scoring 13 points and coming down with 12 rebounds.
- Lindsey Wilson Guard Bryan Wallace led all Blue Raider scorers with 14 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Lindsey Wilson built up an early 7-6 lead with just over four minutes played in the game, but Carroll followed with an 8-0 run over a more than three-minute stretch to take a 14-7 advantage with 12:15 to play in the first half.
- The Blue Raiders outscored the Saints by a 10-point margin over the following three minutes to reclaim the lead, 17-15, just past the midway point of the first half.
- The final nine minutes of the half saw the score tied three times, and the lead change three times, before Carroll scored the final seven points, including four points from Imhoff, to take a 32-28 lead over Lindsey Wilson going into halftime.
- Lindsey Wilson went on a 13-0 run early in the second half to overcome as large as an eight-point deficit, and build a 41-36 lead with 12:05 to play in the game. Kel Stotts had seven points to pace the Blue Raiders during the run.
- Carroll reclaimed the lead for good on an Imhoff field goal with 8:20 to play in the game, putting the Saints in front, 45-43.
- Carroll gradually added to its lead in the closing moments, and went 6 of 6 from the free throw line in the final three minutes to earn a 61-53 win.
HOW THEY SAW IT
- Lindsey Wilson Coach Paul Peck: “We really struggled offensively today. We typically make the shots that we missed today. We needed to finish at the basket and we didn’t. I give Carroll a lot of credit for their defensive effort. Ryan Imhoff was terrific today. He has the ability to make a 15-footer and while having the knack to creating something deep in the post. I was proud of our team's execution of our defensive game plan. To hold Carroll to 45 percent from the field and 13 percent from three, I couldn’t have asked for much more than that.”
- Carroll Coach Carson Cunningham: ”Our guards set a great tone defensively. Ife and Lorel and all of our guards and it worked it’s way through the whole team. Our defense kept us in it when we were struggling early in the second half and then we got into a nice rhythm and executed offensively and got us the kind of looks that we are looking for. Imhoff was a monster on both ends. We had several guys crashing and grabbing rebounds. It was a great win against a good team and we immediately start prep for the next one which will be a monster.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Carroll entered the tournament leading the NAIA Division I men’s basketball in total defensive rebounds per game (28.8), and finished with 30 defensive rebounds in the win.
- Despite Carroll holding the advantage in turnovers, 12-10, Lindsey Wilson finished the game with 12 points off turnovers, compared to nine for Carroll.
- Ryan Imhoff finished with a career-high 14 field goals.
- The 53 points scored for Lindsey Wilson is tied for the lowest single-game point total this season, tied with a 53-40 win over Cumberlands (Ky.), in the Mid-South Conference Postseason Tournament, March 2.
Qualified for the national championship for the third-straight season and the 12th time overall…. In their previous two appearances, the Fighting Saints have advanced to the quarterfinals… Carroll now holds a 7-5 record in the first round of the national championship… CC has won 12 out of their last 13 games… The Fighting Saints are 6-2 against qualifiers in the 2018 national championship… Head coach Carson Cunningham has guided the Fighting States to the national championship three out of the five years he has been at the helm…Carroll has never met Lindsey Wilson in the tournament… The last time CC lost in the first round was in 2008 when the Fighting Saints fell to Robert Morris (Ill.), 82-73)… Carroll has won at least one game in the last six out of seven tournament appearances… The Fighting Saints are 2-2 all-time again members of the Mid-South Conference in the national tournament…
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
The Blue Raiders are making their 12th appearance in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship, but it is their first trip to the national tournament since 2013...In their most recent national tournament appearance (2013), the Blue Raiders advanced to the semifinals before falling to SAGU (Texas), 80-64...Lindsey Wilson is now 9-12 all-time in the national tournament, including 5-7 in the opening round...Lindsey Wilson is one of six Mid-South Conference teams in this year's tournament...Mid-South Conference teams are 2-2 in the tournament so far... Lindsey Wilson is now 6-8 against national tournament qualifiers...Prior to winning three straight games to win the Mid-South Conference Tournament, Lindsey Wilson had lost four straight games and six of its previous seven...Lindsey Wilson is now 1-1 against Frontier Conference schools all-time at the national tournament…