No.1 Seed Union Survives Scare; Earns Final Spot In Quarterfinals
by Matt Bos-Media Coordinator
Point Lookout, Mo. – (Box Score)Tyrone Sherman scored off a driving lay-up with 13 seconds left to go put top overall seed Union (Ky.) into its first ever national quarterfinal with a thrilling 83-82 win over No.5 College of Idaho in the final match-up of the second round at the NAIA D-II Men’s Basketball National Championship.
Union improved its record to 32-3, matching Cornerstone (Mich.) for the highest win total of the season, and will face No.3 Trinity International (Ill.) in the final quarterfinal game on Saturday, March 11. The Bulldogs have won 30 straight games and have not lost since Nov. 8 to Pikeville (Ky.).
The Bulldogs offense was once again carried by the senior duo of Paul Stone (27pts) and Tyrone Sherman (22pts), who were also the high scorers in their first-round win over Aquinas (Mich.). Jaylen Daniel displayed his strong perimeter play with four three-pointers leading to a 16-point effort.
A tight first half that yielded seven ties and 10 lead changes concluded with Union leading by five, 43-38. Both teams shot better than 50% over the first 20 minutes.
Following a brief lead (55-54) by College of Idaho, Union seemingly grabbed control, outscoring the Coyotes 11-0 over a three-minute stretch as they grabbed a 65-55 advantage. Sherman scored six consecutive points during the run.
With Union still leading by eight (79-71), College of Idaho mounted an improbable comeback behind the play of senior Aitor Zubizarreta, who scored eight points during an 11-2 run to give the Yotes an 82-81 lead with 21 seconds left. Union, however, still had enough time to make one more play and its floor general, Sherman, delivered the game winner.
College of Idaho shot 55% for the game, held a 33-29 edge on the boards but struggled to 22% (4/18) from the three-point arc. Zubizarreta was the Coyotes top scorer with 21 points followed closely by both Emanuel Morgan and Joey Nebeker with 17 points each. College of Idaho ends the year with a 24-10 record.
For more information on the national championship, click here. To watch the live video stream, go to NAIANetwork.com.