POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. - The Dakota State University men's basketball amazing run has been halted by Grace (Ind.) Saturday evening in the 22nd Annual NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament 'Elite Eight.' The Lancers used a strong second-half finish to defeat the Trojans 72-59 at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks.
The first 10 minutes of the game went back-and-forth, with each team taking turns holding the lead. Tied at 16, Grace outscored Dakota State 11-3, holding DSU without a field goal for nearly nine minutes to open up a 31-22 advantage.
The Trojans came back to cut it to one by the break, 35-34, with Yusuf Vinson scoring six points during the late half surge.
Grace shot 53.8 percent from the field in the first twenty minutes of the game, shooting 14-for-26 from the field. The Lancers were 4-for-7 from the 3-point line and made all three free-throws. Dakota State was 10-for-26 from the field (38.5 percent) and drained six 3-pointers in 12 attempts (50 percent). The Trojans were 8-for-11 from the free-throw line (72.7 percent).
Another basket by Vinson gave Dakota State its only lead early in the second-half, but Grace went on a 9-0 run behind the shooting prowess of Tannan Peters, leading the Lancers to a double-digit lead.
With its season on the line, Dakota State made one final push and got within four points, but the Lancers' defense took over, holding DSU to just two field goals over the final seven minutes.
Grace outscored Dakota State 37-25 in the second-half.
The Lancers were 11-for-24 from the field (45.8 percent) in the final twenty minutes of the game compared to the Trojans' 11-for-32 (34.4 percent). Grace was 2-for-5 from the 3-point line (40 percent) and made 13 free-throws in 15 attempts (86.7 percent). DSU struggled from the 3-point arc, shooting 1-for-10 (10 percent). The Trojans went to the free-throw line four times, making two free-throws.
Vinson (4-for-7 from the field, including 3-for-5 from the 3-point line and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line) and John Lamb (5-for-10 from the field, 2-for-5 from the 3-point range and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line) each had 14 points for Dakota State. John Lamb amassed a total of 90 3-pointers this season, which are the second most 3-pointers in a single season in Trojan men's basketball record book (tied for 7th most career 3-pointers).
Marcus Smith added 12 points off the bench for the Trojans. Tyrone Gordon, Jr. scored nine points.
Gordon, Jr. produced eight assists for DSU. He amassed a total of 127 assists - 10th most assists in a single game. Gordon had four steals in the game. John Lamb added three steals (59 total steals this season - 7th most steals in a single season).
Cameron Krump pulled down nine rebounds for Dakota State. Luke Lamb and John Lamb each earned five rebounds.
Five Grace starters scored in double digits, led by Peters and Karl Columbus with 18 points each. Elliot Smith and Bruce Grimm, Jr. each added 12 points. Greg Miller had a double-double of 10 points and recorded 12 rebounds.
Grimm, Jr. dished out four assists for the Lancers. Columbus added three assists.
Grace shot 50 percent overall from the field (25-for-50), including 6-for-12 from the 3-point line (50 percent). The Lancers made 16 free-throws in 18 attempts for a percentage of 88.9. DSU struggled from the field, shooting 36.2 percent overall (21-for-58). The Trojans were 7-for-22 from the 3-point line (31.8 percent). DSU was 10-for-15 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent).
There were a total of six lead changes in the game.
The Trojans reserves outscored Grace's bench 18-2.
It was the final career collegiate basketball game for Gordon, Jr., Luke Lamb and Keith Lee II.
Grace snapped Trojans' five-game winning streak.
Dakota State finished their impressive 2012-13 season with an overall record of 24-10. DSU's 24 victories are the most wins in Trojan men's basketball record book. In addition, the Trojans captured their second straight Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Conference Postseason Tournament Champions. Dakota State made their second consecutive trip to the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in school history. DSU made to the NAIA's 'Elite Eight' for the first time since 1992.
Grace, No. 20 in the final NAIA Division II Men's Basketball national poll, advances to the NAIA 'Final Four', facing the top-seed William Penn (Iowa) on Monday at 6 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director