POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – Behind a dominant advantage on the boards, Grace College, Winona Lake, Indiana, stays alive for at least one more game in the 2009 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship.
The Lancers held a plus-29 edge in total rebounds and held on against Ottawa (Kan.), 75-67, in the second round. The 18th annual event is being held at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of the College of the Ozarks (Mo.).
Grace moves into the quarterfinals with a date against No. 5 Black Hills State (S.D.) on Saturday (March 14) at 3 p.m. CST. The contest tomorrow is the Lancers’ second straight trip to the quarterfinal round and third overall – the first year was back in 1992 when they won the national title.
The offense was hard to come by for Ottawa in the early going. Phil McClintock broke a 3:29 scoreless drought with a basket at the 16:30 mark. At that point, Grace led 5-2. Grace extended that margin to 30-17 under four minutes left in the first half on a field goal by Michael Wienhorst. Ottawa rallied behind McClintock’s five points late to trail 30-26 at the half.
Ottawa made a rally in the second half but Grace’s inside presence was too much down the stretch. The Braves of OU stayed close thanks in large part to handling the ball. Ottawa totaled just five turnovers.
For Grace, Eric Gaff notched his NAIA-leading 24th double-double of the year with 15 points and 16 rebounds. He also added four blocks. David Swanson led a group of four players with 18 points and 11 boards. That effort was his 12th double-double this year.