WINONA LAKE, Ind. - Third-seeded Trevecca (20-12) lost 73-66 to sixth-seeded Emmanuel College (20-15) in the opening game of the 2012 NCCAA Basketball Championships.
Trevecca will take on second-seeded Dallas Baptist University on Thursday at 11 a.m. in the consolation round. The Patriots, an NCAA Division ll program, fell to seventh-seeded Hope International University 63-58 in Wednesday's second game. The championships are being held at the 2500-seat Orthopaedic Capital Center on the Grace College campus.
Trevecca opened the game with a 6-0 run, but the Lions took the lead 8-6 on a Isaiah Tyus three-pointer at the 14:53 mark of the first half. Emmanuel, the 2009 NCCAA Champions, would never trail again in the game. Moments later Tyus hit another three that capped a 13-0 Lion run that put the underdog up 13-6 with 12:41 on the clock. When Blake Carden hit a field goal with 11:55 to go it ended a more than five-minute scoring drought. The EC lead grew to nine-points (23-14) with 7:51 remaining. A 10-3 Trojan run closed the gap to just three points (27-24) with 3:37 left. The Lions entered the halftime break with a 32-27 advantage.
Trevecca shot 56% (9-16) from the field and 82% (9-11) from the foul line in the first half.
TNU outscored EC 5-2 to start the second half and trailed by just two points (84-32 with 18:02 remaining. It looked like the Trojans were about to find their groove, but the Lions answered and led by 12 points on three occasions. The last time was when the Lions led 68-56 with 2:48 to go in the game. The Trojans gave themselves a chance with a 9-2 run that cut the lead to just five points (70-65) with 1:04 to go. The Trojans fortunes turned over the final minute as they were just 1-5 from the foul line, 0-3 from the field, and were tagged with a technical foul. The Lions settled on a 73-66 victory to advance to the semifinals on Thursday.
Trevecca leads the all-time series 2-1.
Marquise Rudolph neared a triple-double performance with ten points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Rudolph also added five steals. JP Nyadaro scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds while hitting all seven of this free throw attempts. Trevecca was paced by 16 points from Michael France.
Trevecca shot 46% (22-48) from the field, 31% (4-13) from three-point range, and 72% (18-25) from the foul line. Trevecca won the rebounding battle 34-22, but turned the ball over 20 times.
Five players registered double-digit scoring for Emmanuel, led by Asmatiek Fields's 15 points and Jeremy Burgess's 14 points. The Lions, who won the 2012 NCCAA South Region Championship, shot 45% (19-42) from the field, 64% (7-11) from three-point range, and 68% (28-41) from the foul line. EC shot 77% (23-30) from the foul line in the second half.
Trevecca will play again on Thursday at 11 a.m. when they face second-seeded Dallas Baptist in the losers bracket. All eighth teams at the NCCAA Championships play three games. Trevecca's third and final game will be on Friday. Each of Trevecca's final games will be broadcast with live online video. Click Here to Watch