The athleticism of No. 5-ranked Langston (Okla.) was as problematic as advertised on both ends of the floor for Southern Oregon in Tuesday night’s NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship Round of 64.

The Lions, seeded No. 2 in the Duer quadrant of the bracket, wore down the No. 15-seeded Raiders while turning a five-point halftime lead into an 81-64 victory at Gayles Field House. After going 1-27 a season ago, they boosted their record to 30-2.

Langston, which owns the NAIA’s fifth-best defensive rating, turned 17 SOU turnovers into 21 points and limited the Raiders to 41-percent shooting, their lowest mark since January. The Lions also played unselfish on offense with seven different players scoring at least eight points, led by Cortez Mosley’s 17. Point guard Toru Dean carved up a zone defense with nine points and eight assists.

The loss spoiled a strong night for SOU senior Tre Carlisle, a reserve who shot 7-of-8 and made all three of his 3-point attempts for 17 points. He had 12 in the first half to keep the Raiders close after starting forward Dominic McGarvey went out with his third foul eight minutes into the game. Consecutive 3s from him, Will Graves and Tez Allen – the last one banked in from near midcourt – sent the Raiders into halftime on a 9-3 spurt and with life trailing 37-32.

SOU went down 12 early in the second half before a Carlisle 3 and Cole McAninch’s three-point play cut the deficit to 54-48 with 12 minutes left. The Raiders went without a field goal for the next seven minutes while the Lions rattled off a 16-3 run.

The Raiders, who received an at-large bid to play in the tournament after finishing third in the Cascade Conference, wrapped up their first season under head coach Matt Zosel at 20-11.

In addition to Carlisle, the game was the last in the careers of senior all-stars Allen, Graves, Josh Meyer and Atmar Mundu. Graves scored nine of his 15 points in the second half, going 5-of-10 from the field. Allen recorded eight points, four rebounds and two assists. Mundu scored fewer than 10 points for the first time this season as he and Meyer were held to five combined.

Langston advanced to play in Wednesday’s Round of 32 against the winner of a matchup between No. 7 seed Southwestern (Kan.) and No. 10 seed Northwestern (Iowa).

Content used with permission, compliments of SOU Sports
Photo by Bob Palermini.


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