POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. -- With points at a premium, the No. 2 seed Oregon Tech Hustlin' Owls earned their tenth opening round win in-a-row at the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship, outlasting Lourdes (Ohio), 58-49, to advance to the second round of the tournament.
Oregon Tech took control of the game at the end of the first half, leading 29-21 at the break. Lourdes, in their second year as a basketball program, kept within striking distance but could never turn the corner, getting outscored 29-28 in the second half.
Oregon Tech was 23-for-55 from the floor and 7-of-21 from the 3-point line. The Owls had balanced scoring with Bobby Hunter and Kyle Gomez pacing the team with ten points each. Scotty Riddle and Jason Gamblin chipped in with nine points and Riddle had seven rebounds.
Lourdes connected on 21-of-48 shots from the floor, but struggled from the 3-point line where they converted just 1-of-11. The Gray Wolves' shooting woes spread to the free throw line where they were just 6-of-15. Oregon Tech won the rebounding battle 32-27.
Lourdes, the second qualifier out of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, was led by John Willhite with 13 points and Marcus Outlaw added 11.
Oregon Tech is the third Cascade Collegiate Conference member to advance to the second round, joining Warner Pacific (Ore.) and Northwest (Wash.) in the round of 16 on Friday and they will take a 30-4 record into Friday's game at 1:45 p.m. CST against the winner of the Warner (Fla.) Indiana East. This marks the third-straight year the Hustlin' Owls have won 30 or more games.
Lourdes bows out with a 17-16 record.
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