by Matt Bos-Media Coordinator
Point Lookout, Mo– (Box Score) Day one’s final game showcased tremendous outside shooting as No.5 College of Idaho defeated No.4 Dakota Wesleyan 98-93 at the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship.
The teams combined for 26 three-pointers, tied for third most all-time at the D-II Championship.
College of Idaho drained 14 three-pointers and shot an impressive 58% from beyond the arc. Dakota Wesleyan put on a fine shooting display of its own, especially in the second half, making 12 three-pointers and shooting 34% from the arc.
The game featured scoring runs by both teams with College of Idaho in front for most of the game. Consecutive three-pointers by Talon Pinckney put the Coyotes in front by 13 (28-15) early but a 13-3 DWU run, led by junior Jason Spicer, brought the lead down to just two, 44-42, at the break.
Dakota Wesleyan grabbed its only lead after a basket by senior point guard Tate Martin in the opening moments of the second half. College of Idaho followed with a 9-0 and later pushed its lead back to 11 following another three-pointer by Pinckney. The Tigers made one more late surge to get within four, riding the hot shooting hand of Trae Vandeberg, during the final minutes but College of Idaho made just enough plays to hold off the rally.
College of Idaho was led by Aitor Zubizarreta with 21 points, one of six Coyotes’ players in double figures. Pinckney scored 18 and did most of his damage from beyond the arc, making on all four of his attempts. Joey Nebeker scored 15, followed by Emanuel Morgan (13), Dominique Jordan (11) and Roosevelt Adams (10).
Trae Vandeberg led all scorers with 27 points, blistering the nets with five three-pointers. Tate Martin closed his outstanding career with 16 points and four assists and Spicer chipped in 16 before fouling out in the final minutes. DWU ends the season with a 23-10 overall record.
College of Idaho advances to the second round with a 24-9 record and will play the No.1 overall seed, Union (Ky.), on Friday at 9:15pm. For more information on the national championship, click here. To watch the live video stream, go to NAIANetwork.com.