Host Ozarks Earns First National Title

Host Ozarks Earns First National Title

March 14, 2006

CSTV Highlights

They've hosted the tournament for the past seven years. Monday night, the College of the Ozarks (Mo.) men's basketball team really gave their home crowd something to cheer about. The No. 4 seed Bobcats knocked off #2 Huntington University (Ind.), 74-56, in the championship game of the 15th Annual NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. This is the first title for the Bobcats, who finished as national runners-up in 2000. They have made 10 national tournament appearances.

Except for an exchange of baskets early in the contest, Ozarks led throughout the game, taking a 19-11 advantage midway through the first half and clinging to a 28-24 lead at the break. Huntington scored the first bucket of the second stanza, but after that, it was all Ozarks, as the hosts quickly jumped up 39-28 and maintained a cushion of at least seven points throughout the rest of the contest. They pushed the lead to as many as 18 down the stretch.

Tournament MVP Michael Bonaparte was dominant throughout, leading the Bobcats with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists. Heath Sitton, who also earned all-tournament honors, finished with 17 points, six rebounds, and four assists, while Andrew Boyce chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds. Chris Pullen added nine points and five rebounds to earn all-tournament honors for the Bobcats (29-6), who outrebounded the Foresters, 43-30, on the night. The also converted 51% of their shots from the field while holding Huntington to just 30%, including just 4 of 22 from long range. Ozarks advanced to this championship with wins over unseeded Dominican University (Calif.), 69-60, in the opening round, #13 William Jewell College (Mo.), 77-76, in the second round, #5 Mayville State University (N.D.), 80-61, in the quarterfinals, and #8 Lindenwood University (Mo.), 88-69, in the semifinals.

Huntington (32-6), making its sixth tournament appearance and first title game, was led by all-tournament selection Alex Kock, who finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Kyle Benge was the only other Forester in double figures, with 20 points off the bench. Kyle Ganton, another all-tournament selection, added seven points and six rebounds. To get to the final game Huntington defeated unseeded Fisher College (Mass.), 99-58 in the first round, #15 Evangel University (Mo.), 104-93, in the second round, #10 Morningside College (Iowa), 82-70, in the quarterfinals, and unseeded MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.), 78-68, in the semifinals.

Box Score

All-Tournament Team
Jason Hicks, Walsh University (Ohio)
Brad Schmit, Morningside College (Iowa)
Jacob Nellor, MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.)
Johnny Viehland, Lindenwood University (Mo.)
Adam Hepker, MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.)
Chris Pullen, College of the Ozarks (Mo.)
Kyle Ganton, Huntington University (Ind.)
Heath Sitton, College of the Ozarks (Mo.)
Alex Kock, Huntington University (Ind.)
Michael Bonaparte, College of the Ozarks (Mo.)

Most Valuable Player: Michael Bonaparte, College of the Ozarks (Mo.)
Hustle Award: Doug Sheckler, Huntington University (Ind.)
Coach of the Year: Steve Shepherd, College of the Ozarks (Mo.)
Team Sportsmanship Award: Mt. Vernon Nazarene University (Ohio)

[ Complete Bracket and Results ]

[ Final Individual Stat Leaders ]

Tuesday's Championship Game
#4 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) (29-6) def. #2 Huntington (Ind.) (32-6), 74-56

Monday's Semifinal Results:
#2 Huntington (Ind.) (32-5) def. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (25-11), 78-68
#4 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) (28-6) def. #8 Lindenwood (Mo.) (26-10), 88-69

Saturday's Quarterfinal Results:
MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) def. #3 Walsh (Ohio), 74-68
#8 Lindenwood (Mo.) def. #16 Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio), 95-86
#4 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) def. #5 Mayville State (N.D.), 80-61
#2 Huntington (Ind.) def.  #10 Morningside (Iowa), 82-70.

Second Round Scores:
#8 Lindenwood (Mo.) def. Taylor (Ind.), 74-71 OT
MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) def. Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 66-57
#16 Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) def. Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 84-78
#3 Walsh (Ohio) def. #14 Oregon Tech 81-66
#5 Mayville State (N.D.) def. Montreat (N.C.) 99-92
#4 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) def. William Jewell (Mo.) 77-76
#2 Huntington (Ind.) def. Evangel (Mo.) 104-93
#10 Morningside (Iowa) def. #7 Warner Pacific (Ore.) 71-68

Thursday First Round Scores:
Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)(25-8) def.  #11 Southwestern (Kan.)(28-4) 75-60
MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)(23-10) def. #6 Indiana Southeast (30-4) 72-62
#14 Oregon Tech (25-8) def. Northwestern (Iowa)(23-8) 92-83
#3 Walsh (Ohio)(26-6) def. Tennessee Wesleyan (20-12) 65-50
#2 Huntington (Ind.)(29-5) def. Fisher (Mass.)(15-15) 99-58
#10 Morningside (Iowa)(27-6) def. Cornerstone (Mich.)(23-11) 87-84
#15 Evangel (Mo.)(23-10) def. Bellevue (Neb.)(24-8) 82-74
#7 Warner Pacific (Ore.)(24-8) def. Holy Names (Calif.)(23-11) 83-73

Wednesday First Round Scores:
#1 Embry-Riddle (Fla.)(30-3) def. Sterling (Kan.)(16-15) 86-55
#16 Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio)(26-8) def. Iowa Wesleyan (25-7) 87-81
#9 Taylor (Ind.)(28-6) def. Aquinas (Mich.)(22-12) 63-52
#5 Mayville State (N.D.)(26-5) def. Daemen (N.Y.)(20-12) 82-56
Montreat (N.C.)(22-9) def. #12 Sioux Falls (S.D.)(22-9) 93-83
#13 William Jewell (Mo.)(27-7) def. Southern Oregon (23-9) 67-64 OT
#4 College of the Ozarks (Mo.)(25-6) def. Dominican (Calif.)(18-12) 69-60
#8 Lindenwood (Mo.)(24-9) def. Dordt (Iowa)(22-10) 66-58