Story By Eric Montgomery | NAIA Media Coordinator Photos courtesy of Referee Photo
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Box Score) William Penn (Iowa) nailed down a return trip to the semifinal round of the 81st Annual NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship with a 89-76 win over Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), Saturday evening inside Municipal Auditorium. William Penn will play LSU Alexandria (La.), an 87-66 winner over Georgetown (Ky.), on Monday, March 19 at 8:00 p.m. CDT.
- William Penn improved its record to 30-4
- Our Lady of the Lake concluded its season with a record of 23-12
- Higher seeds are 15-13 through 28 games, while 22 games have been decided by 10 points or fewer including 14 by six points or less
- JC Washington posted a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for William Penn
- Terrell Thompson added 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Statesmen
- Courtney Julien led all scorers with 18 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists for OLLU
- Alex Doche also tossed in 18 points, while Simon Shafack recorded 15 points and nine rebounds
HOW IT HAPPENED
- William Penn shot an identical 15 of 29 (.517) from the field in each half, including 8 of 17 (.471) from three-point range in the first half
- Our Lady of the Lake connected on six treys of its own in the first half and converted five late free throws to cut a 10-point deficit in half headed into halftime, 44-39
- The Saints tied the game four minutes into the second half after a trey by Doche, but was unable to break through for a lead of its own
- The Statesmen slowly pulled away through middle stages of the half, building its first 10-point gap of the second stanza after a pair of free throws by Thompson with 6:26 remaining
- Eight-straight points over 2:50 put the game away for William Penn as OLLU was held without a field goal for 5:00
HOW THEY SAW IT
- William Penn head coach John Henry – “This is as well as we have played in a while. Everyone knows what we have been through and while we will never forget Marquis, we finally played with clear minds and hearts. We finally looked like we came to play ball and had a huge weight off our shoulders. This was a totally balanced attack and a great team effort.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Nine different William Penn players scored at least five points, leading to a 24-16 advantage in bench points
- The Statesmen dominated the game on the glass with a 47-30 rebounding edge
William Penn is in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship for the third straight season after transitioning from Division II of the NAIA...The Statesmen are 8-2 all-time in the national championship, including 2-1 in quarterfinal games...William Penn has advanced to at least the quarterfinal round each of the past three seasons, reaching the semifinals in 2017 before losing, 83-82, in overtime to eventual national champion Texas Wesleyan...William Penn is one of four Heart of America Athletic Conference teams in this year's tournament...Heart teams are 7-2 in this year's tournament thus far...William Penn is 5-4 against national tournament qualifiers... William Penn led the nation in scoring average this season, putting up 102.4 points per game.
Our Lady of the Lake
The Saints are back in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship for the second time in three years and the fourth time in school history...Our Lady of the Lake last qualified for the national championship in 2016, advancing to the quarterfinals before losing to MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), 95-82...Our Lady of the Lake is 6-4 all-time in the event and 0-2 all-time in quarterfinal games...The Saints are one of four Red River Athletic Conference teams in this year's tournament, three of whom advanced to the quarterfinals...Our Lady of the Lake is 7-7 against teams in this season’s 32-team field.