MEN'S BASKETBALL: Upset Bid Falls Short vs. #1 Georgetown
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – NAIA No. 16 Trevecca (25-10) fell to No. 1 and undefeated Georgetown (34-0) by the score of 85-83 in the “Sweet 16” round of the NAIA Tournament. It’s the third time in four years the Trojans have advanced to the final 16.
The top-seeded Tigers trailed by as many as eight points in the first half, but overcame the deficit and then held on in the closing seconds to remain undefeated on the season.
Georgetown led 84-77 with just 38 seconds remaining when Trevecca Nazarene mounted a comeback bid. Sophomore guard Matthew Elliott made two free throws to pull the Trojans within five points. Following a Georgetown turnover, junior forward Brian Oduor scored and was fouled. Odour’s free throw helped Trevecca Nazarene trim the deficit to 84-82 with 25 seconds to play.
Trevecca Nazarene gained possession after a missed free throw by the Tigers, and senior Rick James was fouled with 14 seconds left. James made the first but missed the second, leaving Georgetown in front 84-83. Junior guard David Graham was fouled on the rebound and he made one of two free throws to push the Tigers back up by a score of 85-83.
The Trojans held for the final shot, but Elliott was just off the mark with a three-point attempt. Georgetown had a chance to seal the game with 0.6 seconds left but could not convert two free throw tries. However, Trevecca’s shot at the buzzer didn’t go and Georgetown remains undefeated.
Senior forward Gus Chase led Georgetown with 26 points, while Graham added 17 points. Both players handed out a team-leading four assists. Senior forward Donnovan Brown chipped in with 13 points and seven rebounds, and junior guard Demetrius Guoins came off the bench to post 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Senior Josh Helton scored a team-high 21 points and dished out six assists for Trevecca Nazarene. Oduor scored 17 points in a reserve role, while Elliott posted 14 points for the Trojans. Collins Onyando and Marcos Salvi led the team with five rebounds. Onyando ha da team high four blocks and four steals.
Trevecca Nazarene head coach Sam Harris Quotes
On losing to #1 Georgetown…
“You understand why they are number one team in the country, but I thought our guys played well and were up to the challenge. We are close to peaking as a team and would have loved to play a couple of more games and see how far we could go.”
On senior class…
“Words can’t really express how I feel about those guys. Traditionally we let them all talk in the locker room after the game. They talked some about basketball, but they all talked about how much it meant to play with the people they have for four years and how much they have grown from their experience at Trevecca. Spiritually, personally, and the great education they received. These guys all represented our school in a way that matches what we are at Trevecca as a core.”
On play of team…
“We played them some with man and some with zone. The zone was effective and when we were in man we stayed with them. I was impressed with the way our players represented us and acknowledge their teammates for good passes and screens. Our character was revealed under pressure and I was proud of what I saw from them.”
“I can’t talk about the season without talking about the last four years. Three trips to the tournament; it’s the first time we’ve done that with any class. We talked about building tradition when these guys were freshman and I believe this class has helped us with that. We’ll get busy recruiting and trying to build another tournament team and see if we can’t break down that Elite Eight door in the next couple of years. It should be fun.”
This is the fifth time Trevecca has qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. It is the fourth time under current coach Sam Harris and the third time in the last four years that TNU has advanced to the NAIA tournament. Trevecca made the tournament for the first time in 1987 and advanced to the Elite Eight. In 2005 and 2006 Trevecca advanced to the Sweet 16. The highest seed for the program was No. 8 in 1987. Trevecca has a 5-5 record in NAIA play. Trevecca’s seniors won 93 games in their career.