KANSAS CITY, Mo. - 3/18/2007 - by Scott Cummings, NAIA Media Coordinator
Concordia (Calif.) defeats Union (Tenn.), 88-68, in the round of eight
Concordia University (Calif.) made a tournament-high 13 three-point field goals on its way to an 88-68 win Saturday against Union University (Tenn.) in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship at Municipal Auditorium.
The No. 4-seeded Eagles made nine shots from beyond the arc in building a 20-point lead at the half. Concordia, which won the 2003 NAIA Division I national championship, earned its third visit to the NAIA Fab Four in the last five years and will face top-seeded Robert Morris College (Ill.) Monday at 6 p.m. CDT. The win gives the Eagles a 30-6 record heading into the NAIA semifinal round.
Concordia received plenty of support from its bench, posting 53 of the Eagles' 88 points on the day. Junior guard Keith Lawrence led the way with 18 points in a reserve role, while senior forward Kyle Huggett came off the bench to record 11 points. Juniors Adam Greenaway and Rafael DaSilva each connected for 13 points in a starting role for Concordia. Senior forward Levi Luster led the Eagles with seven rebounds as freshman guard Terrence Worthy dished out six assists in the contest.
Union, which slipped to 25-10 on the year, led in the early stages by as many as four points before Concordia took command. An 11-2 run pushed the Eagles out in front by a 38-22 margin with five minutes left in the first half. Concordia extended the margin to 50-30 at halftime when Lawrence drilled a three-pointer just before the end of the period.
In the second half, the Bulldogs pulled to within 58-47 on a basket by senior guard Mack Bealim with 11:19 remaining. Concordia answered by scoring the next seven points and slowly pulled away down the stretch.
Bealim scored a game-high 24 points to lead Union. Senior center Pierry Valmera chipped in with 15 points and four blocked shots, while sophomore forward Brian Lake notched 10 points. Senior forward Dewayne Lee grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who held a 43-29 edge on the boards.
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