IU East wins 2nd game in national basketball tournament

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Supplied by Indiana University East

MEN’S BASKETBALL: IU EAST 82, OKLAHOMA WESLEYAN 77 (2OT)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Jaylen McKay hitting a floating shot in the lane at the buzzer in the first overtime to keep the game alive, and the top-ranked Indiana University East men’s basketball survived and advanced at the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship with an 82-77 double-overtime victory against Oklahoma Wesleyan University on March 9 at the Sanford Pentagon.
NAIA Division II No. 1 IU East (33-2), the No. 1 seed in the tournament’s “Naismith Bracket,” extended its winning streak to 27 games in dramatic fashion. The Eagles, the No. 4 seed in the “Naismith Bracket” finish 26-9.
IU East advances to face No. 3 seed Briar Cliff University in the quarterfinal round March 10 at 3 p.m. IU East time.

KEY MOMENTS
* IU East was looking at just 3.8 seconds to save its season when Isaac Rowe made a tough 18-foot jumper to put Oklahoma Wesleyan ahead 66-64 in the waning moments of the first overtime. After a timeout, Jaylen McKay got the inbounds pass, glided up the court and sank an uncontested floater in the lane to send the game into another overtime.
* Bishop Smith sank a long 3-pointer early in the second overtime to put IU East ahead to stay at 71-68. Minutes later, Jaylen McKay and Nate Niehoff assisted each other on interior baskets on consecutive possessions to push the Red Wolf lead to 75-70. Bishop Smith made two free throws to make it a 77-70 game with 75 seconds remaining, and the Red Wolves led by at least three points the rest of the way.
* IU East led for most of the game, but never built a comfortable lead The Red Wolves’ biggest advantage was nine points early in the second half.
* Jacoby Claypool made two free throws with 45 seconds remaining in regulation to put IU East ahead 55-53. Oklahoma Wesleyan answered with a bucket by Josh Wilchombe to tie it at 55 for the final points of regulation.

NUMBERS OF NOTE
* IU East is into the quarterfinals at the national tournament for the third consecutive season.
* The defenses had the upper hand as both teams finished well below their respective average field goal percentages.
* IU East survived a 52-45 rebounding disadvantage by forcing 17 turnovers and committing just six, resulting in a 23-6 margin in points off of turnovers. Despite the rebounding disadvantage, the Red Wolves actually had a 17-11 edge in second chance points.
* Bishop Smith hit four 3-pointers – most of them from behind the G-League 3-point arc painted on the parquet floor – and finished with 19 points
* Jaylen McKay finished with 18 points, with 10 of them in the last five minutes of regulation and the overtimes.
* KJ Malveau led Oklahoma Wesleyan with 23 points, but needed 24 shots to get them. Isaac Rowe was active all over the court and finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Josh Wilchombe added 12 points and 17 rebounds.

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
“It was a tough one today. We were struggling for a bit, but we were able to bring it together when we really needed it.”
“I knew I had to hit it (the final shot of the first overtime). When coach called on me in the huddle, he had enough confidence to put it in my hands, so I knew I had to do it for my team.” – Jaylen McKay
“They played us tough. It was a real dogfight, but we knew that coming in. We knew they were one of the better teams in the tournament. We wanted to come out and give our seniors everything we’ve got and make sure it wasn’t their last game today.
“My team puts a lot of trust in me to make shots, and that’s what I try to do. The other day I didn’t play well (against Voorhees on March 7). I had trouble finding the (3-point) line. Today, I didn’t want to worry about finding the line and just make sure I shot the ball well.
“This means everything. We’ve been working all year to become the Number One-ranked team, and we want to prove it day-in and day-out.” – Bishop Smith

UP NEXT
IU East will face Briar Cliff on March 10 at 3 p.m. (IU East time) in a rematch of the teams’ 2016 quarterfinal meeting.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Indiana University East men’s basketball team moved on to the Round of 16 at the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship with a 91-79 victory against a scrappy Voorhees College team on March 7 in the tournament’s first round.
NAIA Division II No. 1 IU East (32-2), the No. 1 seed in the tournament’s “Naismith Bracket,” won its 26th game in a row and reached the Sweet 16 at the national tournament for the third consecutive year. Voorhees, the No. 8 seed in the “Naismith Bracket,” finishes 18-11.
IU East will face No. 4 seed Oklahoma Wesleyan University or No. 5 seed Bethel College (Ind.) on March 9 at 9:30 a.m. (IU East time) in the Round of 16.
KEY MOMENTS
* Charles Peterson’s 3-pointer capped a 7-0 spurt that put IU East ahead 30-14 midway through the first half.
* The Red Wolves scored the first six points of the second half to jump ahead 50-32.
* Nate Niehoff had four of the points as IU East scored six in a row to take its biggest lead at 69-43.

NUMBERS OF NOTE
* IU East led for the last 37 minutes, the last 30 by double digits.
* The teams combined for 53 fouls, which resulted in 61 total free throws and a game that lasted more than two hours.
* Lucas Huffman led IU East with 18 points.
* Alex Brooks scored 21 points off of the bench for Voorhees.

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
“We handled their pressure really well to start the game and also really controlled the boards in the second half and locked in on defense.
“(The key to the second half) was just energy. We finally started having fun. We were taking it a little too seriously – we were a little nervous coming out – but we started having fun and the bench started getting us fired up.” – Charles Peterson
“I believe our guards are the best in the country, and they really handled the pressure well. (Voorhees) was a run and jump team, and our guards handled it really well and got us going.
“Like Charles said, we came out with lot of energy (to start the second half). We went in at halftime and made adjustments and executed them like the coaches wanted us to.” – Nate Niehoff

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