POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. -- Despite making just one of its first 12 shots, the 19th-ranked Bellevue University men's basketball team posted a 64-50 win against No. 16 Rochester (Mich.) College in the first round of the 22nd annual NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship Thursday afternoon at Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks.
Bellevue (24-10) advances to face second-seeded Cardinal Stritch University tomorrow (March 8) at 1:45 p.m., while Rochester ends its season at 23-5. The Bruins lost, 78-64, to CSU on Nov. 9 in the Huntington Classic.
Dominique Grant led the Bruins with his third double-double of the season, recording a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. He also added three assists and three steals.
RC was paced by Stavros Schizas' 16 points.
The Warriors opened on a 16-3 run with 11 minutes left in the opening period before BU used a 7-0 run to get within six points (16-10) at the eight-minute mark.
RC connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to extend its lead to 22-13 with just over seven minutes remaining, but the Bruins outscored the Warriors 15-9 to pull within three, 31-28, at halftime.
The Warriors were plagued by 12 first half turnovers that led to 11 BU points.
A Zamudio 3-pointer tied the game at 33 four minutes into the second half. The two teams exchanged baskets before the Bruins took their first lead of the game (40-38) at 12:09 on a Everett Robinson three.
Leading 44-42, BU scored eight-straight points highlighted by a pair of Zamudio 3-pointers, to take a 52-42 advantage with 7:39 remaining.
After the Warriors cut the Bruin lead down to 54-46, Zamudio made his fifth 3-pointer to give BU an 11-point lead, 57-46, with just over two minutes remaining.
BU made five of its eight free throws in the final minute to seal the 14-point win, 64-50.
- The Bruins are making their 11th-straight appearance in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament.
- Bellevue is 10-4 in first round games.
- The Bruins own a 20-13 all-time record in the National Tournament.
- Today's win marks Bellevue's seventh-straight first round win.
- Head coach Shane Paben is 8-4 in National Tournament games.
- The MCAC is 3-0 in the 2013 NAIA National Tournament.