SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – No. 3 seed Union College had it stay in the 2019 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship cut short, as sixth-seeded IU Kokomo scored the 89-83 upset on Thursday.
The loss snapped the Bulldogs’ 10-game win streak, ending their season at 26-7 overall. The Cougars (26-7 overall) advance to face No. 2 seed Oregon Tech on Friday in the second round.
In a game of runs, IU Kokomo used an 11-2 surge to grab the lead for good midway through the second half.
Union broke a 47-47 deadlock with a K.J. Duronslet layup and then took a 51-47 lead after Jabari Antwine sank a pair of free throws following a technical foul called on the IU Kokomo bench with 14:17 remaining. However, the Cougars responded with an 11-2 run in building a 58-53 cushion.
After Desean Hampton’s layup tied the game at 51-all, Antoin Clifton drained the Cougars’ first 3-pointer of the game in claiming a 54-51 advantage. Hampton capped the run with a second-chance tip-in, giving IU Kokomo a 58-53 lead at the 10:45 mark.
From that point on, the Cougars kept the Bulldogs at an arm’s length in notching the 89-83 victory. IU Kokomo led by as much as nine with the margin never dipping below three the rest of the way.
STATS OF THE GAME
IU Kokomo dominated the glass, outrebounding Union 54-32. The Cougars also tallied 54 points in the paint and had 21 second-chance points.
Also, IU Kokomo made a living at the free-throw line, hitting its first 21 in a row and finished 23-of-27 at the charity stripe. Meanwhile, Union finished the game 6-for-8 at the foul line.
BULLDOG OF THE GAME
DeMarkus Loman paced Union in scoring and on the boards, finishing with a team-high 19 points and seven rebounds. Four of his seven boards came on the offensive end. The junior also had two steals and one assist.
Six Bulldogs scored in double figures. Joining Loman are Duronslet (14 points), Jakobe Wharton (14 points), Lance Blakley (11 points), Antwine (11 points), and Austin Cummins (11 points).
Union committed a season-low five turnovers, while IU Kokomo committed 15.
The Bulldogs went 9-for-18 from 3-point range in the second half, finishing the game 11-of-27 (40.7 percent) from behind the arc.
Trequan Spivey paced the Cougars with 28 points with Hampton and Clifton each adding 15.
Union shot 39.8 percent from the field, making 33-of-83 shots.
IU Kokomo hit 60 percent (18-of-30) of its shots in the second half and finished the game connecting on 32-of-65 shots (49.2 percent).
Blakley finishes his career with 1,128 points, ranking him 27th all-time.