Story By Eric Montgomery | NAIA Media Coordinator
Photos courtesy of Referee Photo
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Box Score) No. 6-seeded Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) earned the final place in the quarterfinal round of the 81st Annual NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship by knocking off second-seeded Carroll (Mont.), 64-62 in overtime, Friday evening inside Municipal Auditorium. The Saints will play No. 1-seeded William Penn (Iowa), a 68-64 overtime winner over Dalton State (Ga.), on Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. CDT
- Our Lady of the Lake improved its record to 23-11
- Carroll concluded its season with a record of 28-6
- Darion Brown and Courtney Julien each scored 14 points and combined for nine assists to lead the way for Our Lady of the Lake
- Simon Shafack Jr. and Alex Doche added 13 points apiece for OLLU, while Doche grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds
- Ryan Imhoff tallied a game-best 18 points to go along with five rebounds for Carroll before fouling out in overtime
- Match Burnham posted 11 points for Carroll, while Ife Kalejaiye chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Carroll held a 51-39 lead with 4:34 remaining in the second half after a short jumper by Matt Wyman
- Darion Brown scored the next five points, including a three-pointer with 3:23 to play, while Shafack hit three of four free throws and a short field goal around a putback by Roche to complete the 12-point comeback and force overtime
- The teams stayed deadlocked through the extra period before Brandel Collins scored in transition after a blocked shot by Julien with 29 seconds to play
- OLLU forced a turnover on the next possession, and Brown hit two free throws, while Doche added one more from the charity stripe with five seconds left following another blocked shot by Shafack
HOW THEY SAW IT
- Our Lady of the Lake head coach Michael Poindexter – “The word I've been using with my guys all week is resilience. We know this is a game of runs. We made one and they made one and when we were down eight with 3:45 to go, I told the guys that if anybody didn't believe, I didn't want them in my huddle. We battled back, forced overtime and pulled it out.
- Carroll head coach Carson Cunningham – “We turned it over a little too much. I love this group, but it is frustrating. I am very disappointed. I don’t want to stop coaching them. They are a joy to coach. I wish I could have found a little bit more to help them, but they gave everything they had. They are an unbelievable group of young men. They care so much and they work so hard and they’ve taken Carroll to really amazing heights. We struggled to make shots and had some very untimely turnovers.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The teams combined to make just six of 38 three-point attempts (.158), but together were 34 of 42 (.809) at the free throw line
- Second chance points were critical for OLLU, as 11 offensive rebounds led to 11 second chance points, while Carroll had no second chance points with just four boards on the offensive end
Our Lady of the Lake
The Saints compete in the national championship for the second time in three years and the fourth time in school history ... The Saints improve to 6-3 all-time in the national championship and 1-2 in second-round games...The Saints are one of four Red River Athletic Conference teams in this year's tournament...Our Lady of the Lake is 7-6 against 2018 championship qualifiers ... The Saint came into the contest No. 7 in 3-pointers made per game (9.9) – they finished with a season-tying low of four treys… OLLU survived despite not scoring a single point for a 9:46 stretch in the second half – the Saints were out-scored by 12 points during that stretch and trailed 51-39.
Overall, Carroll drops to 12-12 all-time in 12 overall championship appearances… Qualified for the national championship for the third-straight season…. CC ends the year winners in 12 of its final 14 games… The Fighting Saints are 6-3 against qualifiers in the 2018 national championship… Head coach Carson Cunningham has guided the Fighting States to the national championship three out of the five years he has been at the helm… Carroll has won at least one game in the last six out of seven tournament appearances… The Fighting Saints entered the contest No. 1 in the NAIA in field goal percentage (.537) and 3-point shooting (.413) – tonight they shot 41.2 percent (21-of-51) overall and 14.3 percent (2-of-14) from long range… Ryan Imhoff ends his career with a game-high 18 points and a streak of six-straight 10-plus games
Higher seeds are 13-11 thus far in the tournament, but two No. 1 seeds, three No. 2 seeds and the defending national champion are already out…. 20 of the first 24 games have been decided by 10 points or less, including 12 by six points or less and eight by three points or less… Of the eight quarterfinalists, three come from the Red River Athletic Conference, two from the Heart of America Athletic Conference and one each from the Frontier, Sooner and Mid-South…