WINONA LAKE, Ind. -- Tennessee Temple had less than 10 hours to bounce back from its opening-round loss in first of the NCCAA Men's National Basketball Tournament, and the Crusaders played a tired team in losing 85-60 to Spring Arbor here Thursday morning.
The Crusaders (22-13) trailed by only eight at the half (37-29), but Spring Arbor shot 56 percent from floor in the second half and hit 16 of 19 free throws in the final 20 minutes to pull away. In contrast, the Crusaders hit only 30 percent from the floor, only 26 percent in the second half.
Matt Howe was unstoppable for Spring Arbor, scoring 29 points in just 32 minutes, hitting 10 of 14 field goals, 9 of 10 free throws and claiming a team-best nine rebounds. Chris Bellamy added a strong showing with 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals.
Temple's long-range shooting let it down Thursday, as the Crusaders hit only 7 of 32 in the game. Weedlens Beauvil was more on his game, hitting three en route to 11 points, but P.J. Whittaker had perhaps his worst shooting day of the season with an 0-for-4 from 3-point range and 1-for-11 overall. Corey Sanders, last week's MVP of the Mid-East tournament, scored 11, and Rashaud Bell added 10 oof the bench. But the Crusaders' leading scorer, Elliot Johnson, was held to four points Thursday.
The Crusaders will play Roberts Wesleyan Friday at 3 p.m. for seventh place in the eight-team tournament.
SPRING ARBOR 85, TENN. TEMPLE 60
TENNESSEE TEMPLE (60) -- Whittaker 2, Mack 3, Clarke 5, Weedlens Beauvil 11, Jones 6, Freeman, Ruise, Rashaud Bell 10, Corey Sanders 11, Rich'ard 7, Johnson 4, Slade 1, Brazier.
SPRING ARBOR (85) -- Rob Hogans 12, Chris Bellamy 17, Van Pelt 5, Matt Howe 29, Carden 8, Hewitt, Hamilton 7, Neely 3, Prather 2, Barry 2.
Halftime: Spring Arbor, 37-29. 3-point goals: Temple 7 (Beauvile 3, Clarke, Sanders, Richard, Johnson); Spring Arbor 3 (Bellamy, Hogans, Van Pelt). Records: Temple 22-13.
Shorter 104, Fresno Pacific 95
Shorter men’s basketball team earned itself a spot in the 2013 NCCAA national championship game with a 104-95 toppling No. 1 Fresno Pacific on Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Hawks will play the winner of No. 3 Oklahoma Christian and No. 2 Cedarville in the title game on Saturday at 2 p.m.
All five starters reached double-digit scoring for Shorter, including 28 points and nine rebounds from Anthony Banks and 25 points and seven assists from Dedric Ware.
Malcolm Griffin led all players with 29 points for Fresno Pacific, which trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half and found itself in a 54-39 hole at halftime.
Marquis King recorded 21 points for Shorter, Walter Hill scored 16 points, and Kenny Leverette added 14 points and 12 rebounds.