Story By Eric Montgomery | NAIA Media Coordinator
Photos courtesy of Referee Photo
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Box Score) No. 4-seeded LSU Alexandria (La.) advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 81st Annual NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship with a 98-77 win over No. 8-seeded Peru State (Neb.), Friday afternoon at Municipal Auditorium. The Generals will play the winner of No. 3-seeded Georgetown (Ky.), a 91-83 winner over Oklahoma City, on Saturday, March 17 at 12:00 p.m. CDT.
- LSU Alexandria improved its overall record to 27-7
- Peru State finished its season with a record of 22-14
- Brandon Moss led all scorers with 26 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots for LSU Alexandria
- Jordin Williams added 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Generals, while William Claiborne had 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds
- LJ Westbrook led the way for Peru State with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists
- Nolan Cass hit five three-point shots to finish with 17 points and five rebounds for the Bobcats in a reserve role
HOW IT HAPPENED
- LSU Alexandria shot over 50 percent in both halves, including a 21 of 35 clip (.600) in the second stanza
- The Generals built a double-digit advantage inside the first six minutes of play, capped off by a three-point play from Claiborne for an 18-7 lead
- Peru State made a surge to trim a 15-point deficit nearly in half with 5:53 until halftime, but LSU Alexandria pushed the lead back to double digits, where it remained the duration of the game
- The Generals led by as much as 30 points in the second half to post the largest margin of victory thus far in the national championship
HOW THEY SAW IT
- LSU Alexandria head coach Larry Cordaro – “This win today was great because we’re continuing to improve. We’re getting closer as a team. We’re sharing the ball at a better rate than we have been. It’s just an unbelievable time to still be playing basketball. I think we set the tone defensively, especially early. We held their two best players well below their combined averages.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The Generals took advantage of a considerable size advantage to score 54 points in the paint
- Taking away the 5 for 5 three-point shooting by Cass, the rest of the Bobcats combined to shoot 2 for 24 (.083) from long range
The Generals are in the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship for the fourth time in program history, all in the last four seasons ... In 2017, LSU Alexandria advanced to the Fab Four before falling to Life (Ga.) by a final of 65-63 … LSU Alexandria now stands at 6-3 all-time in national tournament games… LSU Alexandria is now 2-1 all-time in the second round of the national tournament…The Generals are one of four teams from the Red River Athletic conference to qualify for this year’s tournament, and are the second to advance to the quarterfinal round so far…Currently the Red River Athletic conference is 6-0 in the tournament…The contest between the Generals and the Bobcats marks only the third game of the tournament to be decided by double-digits.
The Bobcats are in the 32-team field for the second time in the last three years and the 15th time in school history...Peru State's first appearance in the national championship came all the way back in 1938, when the Bobcats lost to Marshall (W. Va.), 67-60, in the first round ... Prior to its first round victory over The Master's (Calif.) on Wednesday, the last time Peru State won its opening round game was 1962, when the Bobcats beat Mayville State (N.D.) before losing to Carson-Newman (Tenn.) in the second round ... Peru State is now 1-4 all-time in second-round games and 7-16 all-time at the national tournament ... Peru State is one of four Heart of America Athletic Conference teams in this year's tournament and one of three to make it to the second round ... The Heart is currently 3-2 as a conference in this season’s championship ... Peru State is 5-5 against national tournament qualifiers.