KANSAS CITY, Mo. – College of Idaho claimed its second national title after a thrilling 73-71 victory against Indiana Tech in the NAIA National Championship final. The Yotes started the game with a 19-4 run, led by Tyler Robinett’s nine points, and their defense kept Indiana Tech to only six points in the first eight minutes. [Full Box Score]
College of Idaho dominated the first half, leading by as much as 21 points, and went into halftime with a 19-point advantage. Read more: NCAA Tournament roundup: No. 6 Creighton ousts No. 3 Baylor
Indiana Tech, who had erased a 16-point deficit in the previous game, attempted to do the same in the final. The Warriors started cutting the lead with a 10-2 run and eventually brought the score within four points, but College of Idaho held on to secure the win.
Charles Elzie, who finished the final site play with 67 points, collected the Chuck Taylor Tournament MVP for his fantastic performances throughout the tournament.
Jake O’Neil paced College of Idaho with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Samaje Morgan added 13 points and Tyler Robinett chipped in 11 for the Yotes in the victory.
Rog Stein was the top scorer for Indiana Tech with 18 points, and Blake Davidson and Max Perez each finished with 12 points. College of Idaho finished the season with a 36-game winning streak, having lost only one game in the entire season.
The All-Tournament Team included Charles Elzie, Samaje Morgan, Tyler Robinette, Rog Stein, Josh Kline, Jake Ohmer, Kyran Jones, Josiah De’laCerda, Kolten Hitt, and Elijah Malone.
Grant Smith from Indiana Tech won the Charles Stevenson Hustle Award, Kyle Blankenship from LSU Shreveport won the Charles A. Krigel Sportsmanship Award, and Colby Blaine from College of Idaho was named the NAIA MBB Coach of the Year.