(Kansas City, Mo.) The Bleu Devils, who earned the No. 2 seed in the Duer Bracket, crushed the No. 7 seed Oklahoma City University by the score of 86-65 at the Municipal Auditorium to advance to the round of 16 in the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championships in Kansas City. The Bleu Devils now await the winner of Biola (Calif.) and Langston (Okla.), who play tonight (Wed.) at 10 p.m. The winner of that game will face Dillard on Friday, March 17 at 12:30 p.m.
“Well, I didn’t think we were hitting on all cylinders,” said head coach Mike Newell. “We had two or three guys who didn’t show up ready to play. I don’t know if the stage was too big or what, but we better get it corrected before the next game or we’ll be back in New Orleans for sure.”
The #7 ranked Bleu Devils (25-7, 11-1) were led by NAIA All-American senior Demetric Austin who finished with a game-high 31 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out two assists while teammate and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Newcomer of the Year Jalen McGaughy had a solid game, scoring 20 points and grabbing nine boards for Dillard. The Stars simply had no answer for Austin as well as McGaughy, who had an arsenal of high-flying dunks.
“I thought Demetric Austin did a great job and Dennis Hightower played great in spurts, but they are seniors so they are supposed to do that,” said Newell.
Dillard led by 11 points at the half and scored a total of 64 points in the paint compared to just 43 for Oklahoma City. The Bleu Devils had 21 points off of turnovers and its bench outscored the Stars’ bench 22-12.
Senior point guard Dennis Hightower had eight assists, six rebounds and four points while junior transfer James Morris Jr. came off the bench and finished with 13 points, including three 3-pointers in the victory.
Oklahoma City’s Jonathan Reed finished with 17 points, six assists, five turnovers, four rebounds and three steals in the loss.
Friday’s game can be viewed through the NAIA Network (via Stretch Network) at www.NAIAnetwork.com.
Courtesy: Dillard Athletics