March 26, 2009

Quarterfinal Highlights: C.W. Post vs. Findlay 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass - Top-ranked Findlay outscored second-ranked C.W. Post 12-2 in overtime and rallied from an 11 point, late first half deficit to chalk up an 89-79 victory in a quarterfinal game featuring the lone remaining undefeated NCAA Division II teams at the MassMutual Center tonight.

The Oilers (34-0) shot 54.1 percent (33-for-61) from the floor and outscored the Pioneers (30-1) 14-3 at the foul line to set up their date with Central Missouri (30-4) in tomorrow's national semifinal game. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 pm. The Mules advanced with an 86-77 quarterfinal victory against Gannon.

Senior center Lee Roberts finished 10-for-13 from the floor on the way to a game-high 23 points for the Oilers, who had five players in double-figures scoring. Junior guard Marcus Parker had 19 points to go with five assists and senior forward Josh Bostic finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. Meanwhile, senior guard Tyler Evans and senior forward Morgan Lewis added 12 and 11 points respectively.

"C.W. Post has tremendous quickness with the four guards they play. We thought we could create some mismatches and what got us going was our ability to free up Roberts inside," said Findlay head coach Ron Niekamp.

"In all fairness, we got the looks and just didn't make them. When you live by the three, you die by the three," added C.W. Post head Tim Cluess, whose team took 37 of its 68 shots from beyond arc.

The Pioneers were paced by senior guards Kevin Spann and Jonathan Schmidt who scored 20 and 17 points respectively. Another senior guard in Kenny Burkes and junior guard Lyndon Daniel added 11 and 10 respectively. Burkes and Spann also had seven assists apiece.

C.W. Post held a lead that swung between two and five points throughout the opening 14 minutes of the second half, before Roberts scored six consecutive points to put Findlay ahead by four, 73-69, with 3:15 remaining. However, Burkes canned a pair of free throws and Schmidt converted a layup that tied the game for the fourth time, 73-73, with 1:15 left in regulation.

Roberts then finished a three-point play to apparently put Findlay in driver's seat, 76-74, with 45 ticks left. After C.W. Post came up empty, senior forward Morgan Lewis went 1-for-2 from the stripe to further make it a three-point affair with 31 seconds left.

However, C.W Post was not ready to draw the curtain on its outstanding season. It was Burkes who set the stage for an encore by draining a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner with 20 seconds to go. Findlay advanced the ball up the court, but Roberts' 10-foot turnaround jumper in the paint fell off the front rim and an extra-session ensued.