Story By Eric Montgomery | NAIA Media Coordinator
Photos courtesy of Referee Photo
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Box Score) No. 1-seeded William Penn (Iowa) was pushed to the limit before getting past No. 4-seeded Dalton State (Ga.) in overtime, 68-64, to advance to the quarterfinal round of the 81st Annual NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship, Friday evening inside Municipal Auditorium. The Statesmen will play the winner of No. 2-seeded Carroll (Mont.) and No. 6-seeded Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), on Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. CDT.
- William Penn improved its record to 29-4
- Dalton State concluded its season with a record of 25-9
- The game produced the second overtime contest through the first 23 games of the championship
- Corbin Medley hit 4 of 7 three-point attempts to lead William Penn with 14 points
- JC Washington recorded 12 points along with game-highs of 14 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Statesmen
- Mon’Darius Black led all scorers with 17 points to go along with six rebounds for Dalton State
- Aaron Burress posted 12 points and six rebounds for the Roadrunners, while Reed Dungan added 11 points
HOW IT HAPPENED
- William Penn shot 50 percent in the first half, but led by just four after committing 10 turnovers
- Following an early free throw by Aakim Saintil to give William Penn a five-point lead, Dalton State turned the tables in the second half by taking a five-point advantage of its own at the 15:06 mark after a three-pointer by Dungan
- The Roadrunners held a 56-51 lead with 3:26 to play, only for the Statesmen to score six-straight points for the first of three lead changes in the next two minutes
- Trailing by two on two occasions in the final 13 seconds, Dalton State hit two pairs of free throws to force overtime
- A put-back by JC Washington with 1:31 to play gave William Penn the lead for good, holding Dalton State without a field goal for the entire five-minute overtime period
HOW THEY SAW IT
- William Penn head coach John Henry – “These kids have been through a lot. For us to gut that out, I honestly don’t believe we should have won tonight. We got some tremendous gutsy effort from kids that just scratched and clawed on a night we didn’t play that well. For some reason we are moving on. Feels really good, especially for what they have been through and who they are missing.”
- Dalton State head coach Tony Ingle – “We didn’t start out well, missed some easy layups, but our defense was good enough to keep us in the game until we did kick in. We shortened the game, of course they had a big size factor on us at every position, but I felt like our strategy was pretty good.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- William Penn posted a 50-36 rebounding advantage, but had just one more offensive rebound (20-19)
- Dalton State scored 19 points off of 18 forced turnovers, but was limited to 30.0 percent shooting, including 5 of 25 (.200) from three-point range
William Penn qualified for the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship for the third-straight season after transitioning from NAIA Division II... The Statesmen improve to 7-2 all-time in the national championship, including 3-0 in the second round...William Penn has advanced to at least the quarterfinal round now each of the past three seasons, advancing to the semifinals in 2017 before losing, 83-82, in overtime to eventual national champion Texas Wesleyan... William Penn has appeared in each of the last two quarterfinals holding a 1-1 Round of Eight record… William Penn is one of four Heart of America Athletic Conference teams in this year's tournament... William Penn is 4-4 against national tournament qualifiers... Coming into tonight, the Statesmen were No. 1 in the NAIA in scoring (101.3), total rebounding (47.4) and assists per game (20.1)… In the two championship games in 2018, William Penn has now scored 68 in each of its first two games… Prior to the postseason championship, the lowest scoring output was 76 in a loss on Feb. 24… Heart of America Athletic Conference teams are 5-2 in the national championship thus far.
Dalton State made its third appearance in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship in the last four years... The Roadrunners fall to 8-2 all-time in the national championship and are 2-1 in the second round...Dalton is one of two Southern States Athletic Conference teams in this year's event … Coming into the game against William Penn, Dalton State had won 15 of its past 19 contests… Reed Dungan entered the game No. 2 in the NAIA in free throw percentage (.919) – he finished 2-for-2 from the foul line… The second leading scorer on the team (17.7), Dungan notched 11 points and just 17 in two championship games this year (8.5 ppg)… As a team, the Roadrunners were 11th in the country in steals per game (8.6) – tonight, they finished with seven… The Roadrunners were without the services of their top two leading scorers (Dungan; Carnilious Simmons) in the overtime period – Simmons departed with 3:04 left in regulation and Dungan with 13 seconds remaining.