Oregon Tech Wins NAIA Division II Crown With 63-46 Victory Over Northwood
Oregon Tech celebrates the 2012 NAIA DII National Championship.
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – Using a 45 point second half outburst, along with 40 minutes of stifling defense, No. 2 Oregon Tech defeated top-ranked Northwood University, Fla. 63-46 to earn the 2012 NAIA DII National Championship tonight in Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks.
Tonight’s national championship ties Oregon Tech with Bethel, Ind. for most national titles in NAIA Division II with 3. The 109 point total by both teams is a tournament finals low, while the Owls also held the Seahawks to the least points scored by a team in a championship game with 46. Tech, meanwhile, set a new school-mark in wins during a season, as the Owls finished the year with a 34-4 overall record.
Tournament MVP Bobby Hunter recorded a game-high 20 points, 18 of those in the second period, to go with nine rebounds. Jason Gamblin, keeping the Owls in the game during the first half, came away with 16 points on 7-of-10 from the field and six rebounds. David Clarke, Tech’s most proficient outside threat in tournament play, came away with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Kyle Gomez added nine points and six rebounds.
Oregon Tech finished the game 26-for-56 (46.4%) shooting, including 6-for-20 from long range and just 5-of-10 from the free throw line. The Owls held NU to just 15-for-50 (30%) from the field and just 1-for-19 from long range. The Seahawks knocked down 15-of-20 at the charity stripe with Oregon Tech holding a 34-30 edge on the boards.
A Clarke triple opened up the scoring before back-to-back Seahawk baskets moved NU up 4-3. The teams traded one point leads until a Gamblin 3-pointer moved the Owls ahead by a 12-10 score with 13:38 to play in the opening period, while a Seahawk layup tied the game at the midway point, 12-12.
NU would use a 7-2 run over the next six minutes of play to go ahead by their largest margin, 19-14, but back-to-back field goals by Gomez and Gamblin pulled the Owls to within a single point to make it a 19-18 game. The teams would head to intermission with the same score as both teams failed to convert any points over the remaining four minutes of action.
Trailing by three after a Seahawk jumper opened second half scoring, Scotty Riddle converted a fast break layup, while an ensuing steal and Hunter layup gave the Owls a 22-21 lead, their first advantage since the 13:38 mark of period 1. A Gamblin offensive rebound and put-back gave Tech a three point lead, while an Alex Zerbach five-footer off the glass bumped the Owls lead to five, 31-26, with just over 14 minutes to play.
Tech’s ball movement seemed to wear down the Seahawk defense, as David Clarke got loose for a trey to give the Owls a 34-28 lead, while four-straight Hunter field goals, along with a free throw, gave Tech a 44-34 lead at the 9:30 mark.
At the eight minute mark, Gamblin connected on his second triple of the game to keep the double digit lead, and when Gomez was true from long distance and Hunter converted a layup with five minutes to play, the championship was in grasp.
Northwood pulled to within 14 points with 1:53 remaining, but got no closer as the Owls earned their third NAIA crown with the 63-46 victory.
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