by Matt Bos-Media Coordinator
Point Lookout, Mo. – (Box Score) Showing they are most deserving of their top seed in the Duer bracket, the Pilots of Bethel College backed intense all-court play with six players in double figures to eliminate Calumet College of St. Joseph, 104-78, in first round matchup in the NAIA Division II National Basketball Tournament.
The game was close early, but, buoyed by mini-runs of nine and six points, Bethel grabbed a 44-36 lead at intermission. The foul plagued first half saw 24 fouls called and the eventual winners converting on 16 of 19 charity opportunities. Bethel took the lead for good, 31-29, on two Paul Forman free throws with 6:32 remaining in the half.
Forman was Bethel's best bet in the first half with eight points, while Derrick Scott had eight for Calumet.
The top seeds continued to pull away in the second half behind balanced scoring and the often spectacular floor play of Clay Yeo and Caleb Oetjen. Gage Ott's three point play with 6:34 remaining in the contest gave Bethel their first twenty point lead, 87-67.
Bethel outrebounded the Crimson Wave 45-29.
Ten players reached double figures in the contest, with Bethel's Ott notching a game high 19. Yeo, Oetjen and Forman all had 15 for the Pilots, Jordyn Coon had 14 (including four technical free throws) and Ryan Wassink had 10.
Damonte Lowery paced the Calumet attack with 18 points. Michael Brooks and Darrick Scott had 16 apiece for the 8th seeds and Devin Harrison added 15. With a basket early in the second half Brooks passed the 1000 points plateau in his Calumet career.
Bethel, out of Mishawaka, IN and now 30-4 on the season, moves forward in the Duer bracket and in the tournament to play fourth seeded Eastern Oregon, Friday, at 5:45. Eastern Oregon advanced earlier in the day, coming from seventeen points down to beat Indiana Southeast at the buzzer.
Calumet (Whiting, IN), making it's first appearance in the NAIA National Tournament, finishes its season at 17-14.
For more information on the national championship, click here. To watch the live video stream, go to NAIANetwork.com.