Columbia College advances to second round of NAIA men's tournament
KANSAS CITY – In its first round game of the 2017 NAIA men’s basketball tournament, No. 6 Columbia College defeated Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) by a score of 71-59.
Columbia trailed by seven points just ten minutes into the game and held an eight-point deficit into halftime. The Cougars’ slow start resulted in just five free throw attempts within the first half, a span during which the team shot below 40 percent in field goal and 3-point opportunities.
Lewis-Clark State followed up its first-half lead with a 9-2 run less than four minutes into the second half. Doug McDaniel scored all nine Warriors’ points during this stretch, finishing with a team-leading 21 points.
Columbia scored 15 unanswered points in one seven-minute stretch to erase a game-high 15-point deficit. The Cougars and Warriors were tied with just over six minutes remaining in the game, but Columbia finished the night with 17-5 run and scored the final eight points of the game en route to a victory.
Nic Reynolds scored a Columbia team-high 26 points, including 17 in the second half. Reynolds made seven of eight field goal attempts and was the only Columbia player to score multiple 3-pointers in the game.
The victory improves the Cougars to 27-5 on the season. Columbia’s last NAIA tournament victory came exactly one year ago from Thursday, a 94-68 victory over LSU Shreveport.
Columbia will take on the No. 10 University of Pikesville Bears (Ky.) in its second-round match up on Friday at 5:45 p.m. Columbia and Pikesville are two and three seeded teams in the torunament respectively.