POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – An inspired defensive effort put Grace into the second round as the Lancers’ recorded the biggest upset of the championship to date, defeating No. 7 Bellevue (Neb.) 54-50. The 2015 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship is being played at the Keeter Gymnasium in Point Lookout, Mo.
A basket by Alex Worthen-Harris and free throw by Percy Lemle put Bellevue in front 50-47 but Grace scored the final seven points of the game, all from the free throw line, holding the Bruins scoreless over the final three-plus minutes.
Both teams struggled on the offensive end, holding one another to below 40% from the field. Grace shot 38% for the game, led by Logan Irwin with a game-high 21 points. Brandon Vanderhegghen added 18 points and nine rebounds.
The Lancers’ defense was the story, limiting Bellevue to just 33% for the game and 19% over the final 20 minutes. They also outrebounded the Bruins 37-34.
Taylor Young was the lone Bruins’ player in double figures, scoring 11 on 4-for-12 from the field. Bellevue ends the season with a 28-6 overall record.
The game was close from start to finish as neither team held more than a six-point lead throughout.
Grace improves to 22-10 on the year and will play No. 10 Midland (Neb.) or Southern Oregon in the second round on Friday, March 13 at 1:45pm.