NAIA Notebook: Wildcats relentless in attacking the glass

Culver-Stockton College guard Marshawn Norris, left, drives to the basket as Concordia’s Brandon Hucks defends during the Wildcats’ 97-85 victory Friday in the second round of the NAIA Division I national tournament in Kansas City, Mo. Norris had 21 point
Posted: Mar. 16, 2013 1:16 am Updated: Mar. 30, 2013 2:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Culver-Stockton College men's basketball team faced an opponent Friday that could match the Wildcats' athleticism and up-tempo pace.

What Concordia (Calif.) couldn't match was the Wildcats' relentless effort on the glass.

C-SC outrebounded Concordia 43-32 in its 97-85 victory in the second round of the NAIA Division I national tournament at Municipal Auditorium.

C-SC junior forward Jermaine Jones led all players with 14 rebounds. Teammates Alen Hadzimahovic and Marshawn Norris added eight rebounds each.

"Everybody understands their role and plays their role to a T," Jones said. "I'm not much of a scorer myself. Alen on the other hand can shoot, and he can dribble. I (can do) neither of those. I can jump.

"So I use my jumping to my advantage, get rebounds, catch a lob every once in a while and block shots. That's my role. Alen is tall. He is a dominant force down there. Anywhere near the rim, you're going to see me and Alen."

Norris said it's another example of C-SC players understanding their job and carrying it out.

"Everybody has a niche on this team, and rebounding is their niche," Norris said of Jones and Hadzimahovic.

In its two tournament games, C-SC has outrebounded its foes 85-68. Jones' 20 rebounds pace the Wildcats during the tournament. For the season, C-SC is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 4.1 rebounds per game.

"I've always said first shots don't beat you," C-SC coach Jack Schrader said. "And we rebound a lot of times their first shots."

Postseason success: Although C-SC is playing in the national tournament for the first time since 1959, Schrader is no stranger to postseason runs.

Schrader coached 16 seasons at NCAA Division II Truman State before coming to C-SC. He led Truman to the final four in 1999, and Truman made another national tournament appearance in 2006.

A C-SC win Saturday against Georgetown (Ky.) in the quarterfinals would add an NAIA final four trip to Schrader's resume.

"That's fine. I'm just happy for the guys," Schrader said. "I know it sounds cliché, but I've been there and done it. This is great for them."

Depends on who you ask: The Wildcats left Canton, Mo., for Kansas City on Monday, and although winning a national championship is the focus of the trip, there also has been ample down time.

That's led to some video game showdowns of NBA 2k13 on Xbox. So who is the best C-SC player when it comes to video game hoops? That depends on who you ask.

"I'm usually the one that's tough to beat," said senior guard Austin Keaton, who said he usually plays with the New York Knicks.

Norris disagreed.

"Austin clearly lied to you," Norris said. "Austin has been losing to James (Johnson), and I've been killing James. They never beat me with the (Los Angeles) Clippers. I play with other teams to give them a chance, and then they beat me."

When asked to be judge and jury in the debate, Jones sided with Norris.

"Austin is not that good. He's not," Jones said. "Marshawn is probably the best 2k player."

Up next: C-SC (26-8) will face No. 13-ranked Georgetown (25-8) at 4 p.m. Saturday in the quarterfinals. The Tigers advanced by claiming an 80-67 second-round win Friday over No. 4 John Brown (Ark.). Monty Wilson and Deondre McWhorter led Georgetown with 18 points each, and Vic Moses added 17 points and 14 rebounds. Through two tournament games, Moses has 43 points and 35 rebounds.

Moses, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, paces Georgetown for the season at 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. He leads NAIA Division I in field-goal percentage at 67.9 percent. Wilson, a 6-4 junior guard, is supplying 15.6 points per game.

The Tigers feature plenty of size. Their starting five plus sixth man are all at least 6-3, including three players who are 6-6 or taller.

Georgetown qualified for the national tournament with an at-large bid after finishing third in the Mid-South Conference with a 14-6 league mark. Georgetown is making its 32nd appearance in the national tournament, the most of any team in the field. The Tigers won a national title in 1998.



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