March 17, 2009

Courtesy of www.gobucsgo.com

LAKELAND, Fla. - The No. 15 Christian Brothers University Bucs led for all 40 minutes as they claimed their first-ever NCAA Division II South Regional Championship with an 82-72 win over top-seeded and No. 11 Florida Southern Tuesday night.

The Bucs (25-6) scored the game's first four points and never trailed as they dominated the game against the host Mocs (29-7). The Bucs began to pull away with a 10-2 run sparked by back-to-back three-pointers from Connor Wetzel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wyoming HS) and Reggie Peyton (Memphis, Tenn./St. Benedict HS). Back-to-back Nick Kohs (Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota East HS) layups capped the run, giving the Bucs a 19-10 lead with 11:06 remaining in the first half.

The Mocs pulled within three points with an 8-2 run, closing within 23-20 on a pair of Rob Eldridge free throws with 7:50 remaining in the half. They would get no closer as a Kohs dunk started a 15-5 run that gave the Bucs a 38-25 lead with 1:40 remaining in the first half.

The Mocs cut the lead back to four points twice early in the second half, but Peyton and Kohs put the game away for good, scoring all 15 points in a 15-3 run that left the Bucs with a 59-44 lead with 7:13 remaining, and the Mocs never came closer than seven points again.

Kohs was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, scoring 27 points in the championship to finish the regional with 75 points, 19 rebounds, nine assists, and seven blocks in three games. Peyton joined Kohs on the all-tournament team as he scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half, slicing through the Mocs' defense for six layups in the second half alone.

Scott Dennis turned in another strong performance, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds, and six assists with no turnovers. For the tournament, Dennis had 24 points, 25 rebounds, 16 assists, five steals, and just one turnover.

Eldridge led the Mocs with 17 points, while John Thompson added 16. Eldridge and Thompson joined Kohs and Peyton on the All-Tournament team, along with Arkansas Tech center Thiago Cordeiro, who averaged 16.5 points and 12.0 rebounds for the tournament.

Brandon Jenkins scored 13 for the Mocs, while Terry Jenkins added 11.

The Bucs move on to the Elite Eight at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. The Bucs face Southeast Regional champion Augusta State, ranked fourth in the final NABC/Division II Coaches Poll, in the first quarterfinal Wednesday, March 25, at 11 a.m. Central Time.