POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - Dakota State (S.D.) upsets the No. 5 seed Warner Pacific (Ore.) 89-80 in the highest scoring game in the championship so far in the final game of the first round of the 2013 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship Thursday night. DSU record
ed their first national tournament victory for the first time since 1992.
The 22nd annual event is being played at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks. The Trojans became the 10th unseeded team to punch ticket into the 'Sweet Sixteen' round.
Dakota State, which made their second straight national tournament appearance for the first time in school history, extended their school wins record to 23 victories (23-9 current overall record).
The Trojans had won their fourth straight game and their ninth win in the last 11 games. DSU recorded their fourth victory versus NAIA's 'Top 25' ranked teams this season.
Warner Pacific, winner of the Cascade College Athletic Conference Tournament and jumped seven spots from No. 12 to No. 5 in the final NAIA Division II Men's Basketball national ranking, ended their season with an overall record of 27-7. DSU snapped the Knights' nine-game winning streak.
The first half was fast-paced, up and down basketball, which saw both teams shoot over 60 percent from the field. Warner Pacific led mostly in the first twenty minutes of the game, although their largest lead was only seven points mid-way through the first-half. DSU tied the game four times in the first-half.
The half ended with Warner Pacific holding a 45-42 advantage.
Early in the second-half, Dakota State mounted a 15-5 scoring run to gain a 57-50 lead with 14:08 remaining. DSU later extended to the biggest lead of the game on two occasions (68-58 with 11:44 left and 72-62 with 8:25 remaining).
Warner Pacific answered back by tying the game at 76 by using a 14-4 scoring run (3:09 left).
With the game knotted at 78, the Trojans closed the game with an 11-2 run for the victory.
DSU outscored the Knights 47-35 in the final twenty minutes of the game.
Dakota State shot a blistering 60 percent in the second-half, making 15 baskets in 25 attempts. The Trojans were 6-for-13 from the 3-point like (46.2 percent) and converted 11 free-throws in 14 attempts. WP was held to 37.8 percent from the field (14-for-37) and struggled from the 3-point line (18.8 percent). The Knights were 4-for-6 from the free-throw line.
DSU's John Lamb led all scorers with 26 points - 18 of which came in the second-half. He was 8-for-15 from the field, including 6-for-13 from the 3-point line and converted all four free-throws. Cameron Krump shot 8-for-9 from the field and made three free-throws to earn 19 points off the bench. Marcus Smith (6-for-8 from the field) and Luke Lamb (5-for-9 from the field) each added 14 points. Yusuf Vinson scored 10 points.
Vinson grabbed five rebounds for the Trojans. Tyrone Gordon, Jr., Smith and Krump each added four rebounds.
Gordon, Jr. dished out a season-high 10 assists for Dakota State. John Lamb added four assists.
Gordon, Jr. stole the ball four times for the Trojans. Luke Lamb and John Lamb each had two steals.
Stephen Harris scored 25 points for the Knights. He was 11-for-18 from the field and converted two free-throws. Coletun Tarr added 14 points off the bench. Doug Thomas had 10 points. Josh Black produced 10 assists and recorded four steals.
Harris, Tarr and Jeremy Jones each had five rebounds.
Dakota State shot a season-high 60.4 percent overall from the field (32-for-53), including 10-for-23 from the 3-point line (43.5 percent). The Trojans were 15-for-19 from the free-throw line. Warner Pacific was 47.8 percent overall from the field (32-for-67) and 7-for-23 from the 3-point arc (30.4 percent). The Knights went 9-for-13 from the free-throw line.
WP outrebounded DSU 28-24.
Both teams committed 20 turnovers in the game. The Knights had 12 steals compared to the Trojans' 10 steals.
DSU's bench outscored Knights' bench 33-26.
Dakota State is the only team remaining from the members of the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) conference. Three other A.I.I. schools - Valley City State (N.D.), Jamestown (N.D.) and No. 15 seed Rochester (Mich.) - lost in the first round in the NAIA national tournament.
Dakota State continues their postseason run Friday night as they face an unseeded team in the 'Sweet Sixteen' round. The Trojans play Saint Thomas (Fla.) (21-11), which upset No. 12 seed Mount Mercy (Iowa) in the first round. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. at the Keeter Gymnasium in Point Lookout, Mo.
(Note: The Stadium Sports Bar and Grill in Madison, S.D. will be streaming Friday's night game between the Trojans and Saint Thomas 'Sweet Sixteen' game. In addition, follow the Voice of the Trojan Jim Hockett as he will be carrying a live free audio broadcast on www.dsuathletics.com.)
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director