Bowie State 88, Lenoir-Rhyne 82
Bowie State stormed to a 12-point lead and then held off a persistent Lenoir-Rhyne squad to win, 88-82, in the first round of the NCAA Division II men's basketball tournament at Lumpkin Center on the campus of Columbus (Ga.) State.
Tim Washington scored 39 points to lead the second-seeded Bulldogs, who advanced to face Kennesaw State, which held off Virginia Union, 74-65, in today's final at 6 p.m.
Washington, who made 14 of 19 shots from field and 11 for 16 free throws, also had 14 rebounds. Cornelius McMurray added 21 points for Bowie State (27-4), which is making its first NCAA tournament appearance.
Marcus Springs scored 21, Roman Davis had 18 and Tony Connelly scored 17 for Lenoir-Rhyne (22-8), which made 7 of 12 three-point attempts.
The Bulldogs never trailed and held a 13-point lead with just less than nine minutes to go, but the Bears clawed their way back into the game and took an 82-81 lead with 3 minutes 28 seconds to play on a layup by Connelly.
Bowie center Jon Smith blocked shots on consecutive possessions, leading to a free throw by Washington and two from McMurray, virtually ensuring the win.
"We missed a lot of shots down the stretch but once again our senior leadership did it for us and they came up big in the end," Bulldogs Coach Luke D'Alessio said.