Winona Lake: The #8 seeded Hannibal-LaGrange Trojans shot a blistering 66.7% from the floor in the second half, and took down the #1 seeded Alice Lloyd College Eagles in the opening round of the NCCAA DI Men’s Basketball Championship, 87-75. The contest was played on March 16th in Winona Lake, Indiana.
In the first half, Trojan guard Michael Hood was fouled twice on three-point attempts in the opening minute which allowed him to get off to a hot start. He would score his team’s first 10 points of the game.
Hood’s early effort inspired his team as the ALC had trouble getting on track. The Trojan would pour in 18 in the opening half. Fortunately, two late trifectas from Eagle guard Tyler May would shrink the deficit to just two (42-40) at intermission.
In the second half, the Caney Creek crew would watch as Hood kept up his torrid shooting. With 12:48 remaining, his bomb gave his club a massive 67-50 lead.
To their credit, the Caney Creek club would slowly claw their way back into contention. Sparked by several buckets from Damon Tobler, Noah Young, Will Philpot, and Bryce Slone, they would shrink the margin to just six (80-74) with 4:00 remaining and then get a big steal. However, after misfiring on a corner shot on the next trip down, ALC witnessed Hood sink another dagger that put the contest out of reach.
For the Eagles (26-6) sophomore Tobler would lead the way with 19 points. He was followed in scoring by senior Young, and juniors Philpot and Slone, each with 12. Tobler and Philpot both had 6 rebounds while Young led everyone with 10 assists and 4 steals.
Alice Lloyd shot 47.1 % (30-66) from the floor and 45 % (9-20) from behind the arc. They finished 46.2% (6-13) from the foul line. The Eagles also gained 24 rebounds, while adding 13 assists, and 9 steals.
HLU (9-21) was led by Hood with 32 points. His squad shot 59.3% (32-54) from the floor, and 57.9% (11-19) from behind the arc. They finished 80% (12-15) from the foul line, and also had 39 rebounds, 47 assists, and 3 steals.
The Eagles have to quickly regroup as each team will play three games in the tournament. They will return to the hardwood Thursday at 10:15 am when they face Southwestern Christian University.