KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Campbellsville University (Ky.) outscored Oklahoma Baptist University 6-2 in the final minute of play to record a 74-69 victory Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the 2008 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship at Municipal Auditorium.
Senior guard Bubba Long hit four key free throws down the stretch to lift the Tigers into the first NAIA Fab Four appearance in school history. Senior center Hector Colmenares collected his third straight double-double of the tournament with 17 points and a game-high 17 rebounds while Long added 13 points to help Campbellsville improve to 26-9 on the year. The unseeded Tigers will face either No. 2 Lee University (Tenn.) or No. 7 Oklahoma City University in the NAIA semifinals Monday at 8:45 p.m. CST.
With Campbellsville clinging to a 68-67 lead, junior guard Marcus Nicks missed a three-point attempt, but Long grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled with 45 seconds to play. Long made both free throws to push the Tigers in front 70-67. Oklahoma Baptist senior guard Evan Grace made two free throws to help pull the Bison back within 70-69 at the 29-second mark.
The Tigers were able to inbound and work the ball around to junior guard Troy Harris, who was fouled with 19 seconds left. He made the first and missed the second attempt, but Long was able to come up with the loose ball. Long was sent to the line again and made two more free throws to extend the Campbellsville lead to 73-69 with 13 seconds remaining. Nicks made one final foul shot following an Oklahoma Baptist turnover to seal the victory.
Campbellsville led for most of the first half, taking its biggest lead at 34-28 on a field goal by freshman guard Shawn Savage with just over a minute left in the first half. The Tigers led 36-33 at the half and the contest remained tight throughout the second half. Oklahoma Baptist grabbed the lead on two different occasions in the final period, the last coming on a basket by junior guard Brent Jones with 7:30 to play.
Sophomore forward Jordan Benock came off the bench to add 11 points for Campbellsville, while junior forward Deveon Jenkins posted 10 points and eight rebounds. The Tigers held a 43-33 edge in rebounding against the Bison.
Jones, junior guard Justin Williams and junior center Charles Carter led a balanced attack for Oklahoma Baptist with 12 points each. Senior guard Brian Hill chipped in with 10 points, while Hill and Carter shared team-high rebounding honors with eight. The Bison finished their 2007-08 season with a record of 24-10.
GAME NOTES -
*Oklahoma Baptist was looking for its ninth trip to the NAIA Fab Four
*Fifth consecutive year that OBU faced a team from the Mid-South Conference at the national tournament
*The Bison have 47 wins all-time in NAIA Tournament play, which is second all-time to Georgetown (Ky.), which has 48 wins
*Campbellsville is 3-0 against teams from the Sooner Athletic Conference this season
*Fourth straight year that an unseeded team has reached the NAIA Tournament semifinal round
*First Mid-South Conference team to reach the NAIA Fab Four since Georgetown (Ky.) in 2004
*Hector Colmenares collected his third consecutive double-double of the tournament and 18th this season