Sioux Falls, S.D. Marian’s (Ind.) 90-74 upset victory over Indiana Tech, seeded second in the Duer bracket, proved an apt finale to a terrific day of second round play in the 27th annual NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Cypress Risk Management.
The entire slate of second round contests was characterized by crisp play, exciting games and outstanding individual performances; this game was no exception.
Marian’s 6’11” junior Reggie Kissoonlal, avoiding the foul trouble that plagued him in yesterday’s first round victory over defending champion Union (Ky.), torched the nets for 30 points and made it a double-double with 11 rebounds. He also had eight blocks. His 5’10” point guard teammate, Wes Stowers, did him two better with 32 points including four three-point goals. Stowers also had six assists.
Stowers and Kissoonlal combined for 28 first half points as the sixth seeded Knights left the court for intermission with a 43-36 advantage.
The second half saw runs by the Warriors that would cut the deficit (to as few as six, 52-46) and spurts by Marian that would lengthen the gap to double figures.
A three pointer by Indiana Tech’s Edmond Early, followed by a basket by Dylan Phair sliced the Knight’s lead to 79-72 with 3:09 remaining but they would not get any closer.
Sterling Brown added 11 points for Marian and Mark Albers chipped in with 10. Sam Guymon had twelve rebounds off the bench.
Four Warriors reached double figures, led by Max Huber with 15. Phair had 14, Joel Wincowski 11 and Nic Williams 10 (and 11 rebounds). Indiana Tech finishes an otherwise banner season at 27-7.
The second consecutive upset propels Coach Scott Heady’s Marian squad (now 22-11) into tomorrow evening’s quarterfinal against the College of Idaho, the No.1 seed in the bracket.