WPU Escapes Science & Arts in Opening-Round Contest

The William Penn Statesmen survived Science & Arts (Okla.) 68-63 in the first round of the NAIA Division I National Championships.

The William Penn Statesmen survived Science & Arts (Okla.) 68-63 in the first round of the NAIA Division I National Championships.

by Wade Steinlage

Kansas City, Mo.–The Statesmen men’s basketball did not have its best game, but survived to another see another day as it defeated Science & Arts (Okla.) 68-63 in the first round of the NAIA Division I National Championships Thursday.

Top-seeded William Penn (28-4) advances to face #4 seed Dalton State (Ga.) in the second round Friday at 7:30 p.m. It will be the first time the two programs have met on the hardwood.

WPU outshot the Drovers (21-11) 42.4%-37.5% and outrebounded them 39-34, but were pushed all night long.

The navy and gold led 15-10 early and were able to extend the advantage to 34-27 with 4:14 to go in the first half. Unfortunately, the team only led 39-37 at halftime.

A 10-2 run in the middle part of the second stanza gave the Statesmen a 57-45 edge with 8:11 left in regulation. USAO did not quit, though, and closed to within two in the final minute at 62-60, but WPU made its final six free throws (finished 12-for-15) and also had a steal to seal the win and advance.

The victors committed one more turnover (13-12) than the Drovers, but were more opportunistic with an 18-9 margin in points off turnovers. WPU also outscored Science & Arts 7-6 in second-chance points.

Aakim Saintil (Sr., West Orange, N.J., Business Management) guided William Penn with 18 points; the senior was 6-for-10 and made three three-pointers. He also had team highs in rebounds (7), assists (5), and steals (2).

Dominique Shaw (Sr., Lufkin, Texas, Wellness and Recreation) was next in scoring with 15 points, while Terrell Thompson (Sr., Indianapolis, Ind., Wellness and Recreation) also reached double figures with 10 points.

JC Washington (Sr., Houston, Texas, Sociology) and D’Angelo Allen (Jr., Dallas, Texas, Wellness and Recreation) added eight points each; Allen headed the Statesmen with three blocks as well. Washington matched Shaw and Saintil with seven boards.

“We advanced and that is all that matters,” Head Coach John Henry said. “USAO slowed the game down and controlled the tempo all night.”

Tournament coverage made possible with support from:

Wyndell Campbell State Farm, Clow Valve Company, Penn Central Mall, Gardner Collier Jewelry, MidWestOne Bank, Legacy Real Estate, Mahaska Communication Group, Langkamp Funeral Chapel & Crematory, Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, and Mahaska Health Partnership.

MidWestOne Insurance Services, Interiors by Val, Boyle & Henderson, Stam Greenhouse, EyeCare Partners, Mahaska Drug, and United Way.

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Posted by on Mar 16 2018. Filed under College Sports, Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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