Cougars Advance Behind Dresslers Double-Double
KANSAS CITY -- The Columbia College men's basketball team never let down tonight as they came from behind to defeat Montana State University-Northern in first round of the Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championships. The Cougars took down the Lights of Montana State-Northern by a final score of 58-52 in their 16th trip to the National Championships. Columbia improves to 27-6 on the season while the Lights finish their season with a 27-7 mark.
With the top two defensive teams in the NAIA squaring off, a low scoring game was expected and the Cougars and Lights didn't disappoint. Columbia seemed out of sync to open up the game, and trailed early to The Lights. At the half, the Cougars trailed 28-22.
The Cougars opened up the second half with a Jordan Dressler jumper at the top of the paint but the Lights answered right back with a four-point play to extend their lead. At a six point deficit, the Cougars finally hit their stride, going on a 10-0 run to take a four point lead and holding Montana State-Northern scoreless for eight minutes. Once the Cougars took the lead, they never looked back, holding at least a one-point advantage for the rest of the contest. Columbia solidified the victory by connecting on all four of their free throw attempts in the last 17 seconds to take the six-point win.
Junior forward Jordan Dressler posted a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Henrique Medeiros and Devin Griffin each posted 13 points, helping the Cougars to a 48 percent shooting percentage for the game.
This is the fifth time in their 16 appearances that the Cougars have advanced to the second round of the championships, including making it all the way to the championship game in 2009.
Columbia will tip-off against second seeded Oklahoma Baptist University on Friday, March 16th at 6:15 p.m. in the round of 16. The Bison defeated unseeded Belhaven University in the late game tonight by a score of 68-62.