by Mike Safford, SID College of Idaho
Point Lookout, Mo. – (Box Score) Bob Peters scored nine of his 18 points in a game-changing 22-3 second half run as Indiana Wesleyan began defense of its national title with a 100-87 victory over No. 8 Corban University in the first-round of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship inside Keeter Gymnasium.
The Wildcats (27-7), the top seed in the Cramer Bracket, advance to meet Northwestern (Iowa) in tomorrow’s second-round, with tip-off set for Noon (CST).
The eight-seeded Warriors (18-16), Cascade Conference Tournament champions, played toe-to-toe throughout, taking a 36-31 lead on a Toby Roth 3-point play with five minutes remaining in the first half. Grant Evans took over for IWU, making six field goals late in the period, scoring 15 of the Wildcats 17 points in a 17-6 run to give the No. 1 seed a 48-42 lead at the half.
A.J. Monterossi pulled Corban within 50-49 early in the second half with a steal and basket – but IWU clamped down on the defensive end, allowing just one made field goal over a seven minute stretch. Peters scored seven-straight points during the run, including a long pull up 3-pointer, as the Wildcats extended their lead to 72-52, helping IWU win their fifth-straight first-round game.
Jacob Johnson and Evans each scored 17 points in the victory, with Lane Mahurin adding 16 points for IWU, as the Wildcats made 56-percent of their field goal attempts in surpassing the 100-point mark for the fifth time this season.
Joel Johnson led the Warriors with 21 points and seven rebounds, one of five Corban players in double figures. Chris Martin scored 17 points off the bench, with Jake Love finishing with 13. The Warriors were limited to just 2-of-10 shooting from 3-point range in the second half.
For more information on the national championship, click here. To watch the live video stream, go to NAIANetwork.com.