By Matt Bos, Media Coordinator
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - (box score) Jonathan Dunn scored a game-high 31 points in leading top-seeded Northwood (Fla.) to its first national title game with a convincing 76-56 win over No. 5 McPherson (Kan.) at the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship.
It was all McPherson early on as they charged out to a 12-3 lead behind a couple of three-pointers by Aaron Frazier and a basket by Jordan Crawford. A basket by Kasey Miller put McPherson up 17-8 but Northwood scored the next 10 points and took its first lead (18-17) after a Noah Keeton three-pointer.
A McPherson free throw tied it again at 18 but Dunn scored the next eight points and triggered another run to put the Seahawks up 29-23 with 4:30 left. A basket by Chris Crawford put McPherson within four again but Dunn took over from there, scoring the final eight points of the half to give Northwood a 37-35 advantage at the break.
Needing an early run, McPherson scored the first five points of the second half and made it a seven point game (37-30) on a Frazier free throw. Northwood proved to be too much, however, as a Dunn three-pointer capped a 7-0 run and the Seahawks eventually built up an 18-point lead after a basket by Keeton with nine minutes left. McPherson made one final charge to get within 14, but Northwood had an answer for every run and punched its first ever ticket into the title game.
Dunn led all scorers with 31 points, going 10-for-18 from the field. Masse Doumbe added 15 points and seven rebounds.
"My teammates did a great job of getting the ball where I could make a play," commented Dunn. "We kept attacking on offense and when they come over and help, we are all unselfish enough to dish out to the open player."
Northwood shot 53% for the game and went 9-for-20 from the three-point line (45%).
After a fast start, McPherson cooled off to shooting 34% for the game and just 24% from the three-point line.
Frazier led the Bulldogs with 17 points while both Jordan Crawford and Chris Crawford scored 10. Making its first trip to the semifinals, McPherson's season ends with a 33-4 record.
Northwood, now 34-3 on the year, will play in Tuesday night's championship game against either No. 2 Oregon Tech or No. 3 Davenport (Mich.). The National Championship final will be televised live on CBS Sports Network tomorrow at 6 p.m. CST.