by Spencer Scheve, Athletics Communications and Media Intern
Point Lookout, Mo. – (Box Score) Kentrell Washington scored on a driving lay-up with under two seconds left to give Eastern Oregon a 92-90, last second win in over IU Southeast in the first-round of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship.
Eastern Oregon’s offense was powered by Bryan McGriff, who poured in a 2017 championship-best 33 points to go with two assists. Washington added 20 points, none bigger than the final basket with less than three seconds left that put the Mountaineers into the second round.
The Mountaineers (24-8), the No. 4 seed in the Duer Bracket, advance to meet the winner of No.1 Bethel (Ind.) or No.8 seed Calumet (Ind.) in Friday’s second-round. They join two other teams from the Cascade Collegiate Conference, Northwest Christian (Ore.) and College of Idaho in the second round.
Eastern Oregon matched the record for three-pointers made in a game (17), set four previous times and most recently by Siena Heights in 1999. The Mountaineers totaled 40 attempts from beyond the arc, second only to William Penn’s 41 in 2013.
IU Southeast (24-7), the River States Conference West Division Champion, kept a fast-pace tempo, taking a 32-15 lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half. IU Southeast cruised into halftime leading 51-40 in a high scoring first half.
Eastern Oregon began the second half on fire, scoring six unanswered point to cut the lead to five (51-46) in the first two minutes of action. The Mountaineers continued to their run, taking their first lead 64-62 with 12:45 minutes left in the game.
The second half was a back-and-forth battle with nine lead changes, with the Mountaineers largest lead coming at 70-64 with 10:50 left in game.
After hitting nearly 60% from the field in the first half, IU Southeast dropped to 51% for the game. Both Jamie Johnson and Robert Sawyer scored 24 points with Sawyer ripping down 10 boards for the double-double. The Grenadiers end the season with a 24-7 record.
For more information on the national championship, click here. To watch the live video stream, go to NAIANetwork.com.