SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The reign of the Union (Ky.) Bulldogs is over. No. 6 seed in the Duer bracket, Marian University and coach Scott Heady unceremoniously bounced Union from the 27th annual NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship, with a surprisingly easy 79-59 victory in Thursday’s nightcap. This was the second consecutive and second overall upset of the first round.
In eliminating the defending champions, Marian utilized a sensational all-court performance from stellar guard Wes Stowers and the second half rebounding and free throw shooting of lanky 6’11” pivot man Reggie Kissoonlal.
Stowers was a one man highlight film in an otherwise ragged first half that featured 39 missed shot and 28 personal fouls. The 5’10” junior wove through the defense with a series of acrobatic drives and was perfect from the free throw line on his way to 18 first half points. He finished with 28.
Kissoonlal had 12 including a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. Sterling Brown also had 12 points for Marian.
Lance Blakely led Union with 27 points, largely after the game’s fate had been decided. Dominique Lindsey had 14 for the Bulldogs, who finish their season at 23-8.
Marian (now 21-11) advances to Friday’s second round where they will take on the bracket’s second seed, Indiana Tech, who needed an overtime to eliminate WVU Tech 89-83 earlier today.