POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – A slow start wasn’t enough to keep the Bellevue (Neb.) from advancing to the second round of the of the 22nd annual NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship.
Bellevue came back from a 13 point first half deficit to win a 64-50 decision over Rochester (Mich.). The 2013 event is being held at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks.
Rochester raced to a 16-3 lead ten minutes into the game but the Bruins outscored the Warriors 25-10 over the final ten minutes of the first half, trailing 31-28 when the break came. Bellevue was 1-12 from the floor to start the game.
Shane Paben’s team took its first lead on a three-point shot by Everett Robinson with 12:09 remaining in the game and they never trailed again, pulling away from the 40-38 lead to an eventual ten point cushion. Rochester never got closer than eight in the closing five minutes.
The Bruins limited Rochester to 33% shooting on 16-48 success from the floor, including 5-24 three-point success. Bellevue was 19-50 from the field for 38% and converted 7-17 three-point shots.
Bellevue controlled the boards for a 35-26 advantage, snaring 13 offensive rebounds in the process.
Domonique Grant had a game high 18 points and team high ten rebounds. Blake Zamudio added 17 points for the winners who are now 24-10 and Jamil Goodwin scored 11 with eight rebounds.
Rochester was paced by Stavros Schizas with 16 points while Drew Maynard had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Bellevue is playing in its 11th straight NAIA Division II Men’s National Basketball Championship and Shane Paben’s team has advanced to at least the second round in each tournament since 2007.
Rochester ends the season with a 20-5 record.
Bellevue will face Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) in second round play on Friday at 1:45 p.m. The 32-team, single elimination tournament concludes Tuesday, March 12, with the championship game to tip-off at 8 pm.