|Calumet-St. Joseph 16-12, 12-9||50||36||86|
|Trinity Christian 12-17, 7-14||29||35||64|
|Feb. 18, 2017|
|Palos Heights, IL|
|Calumet-St. Joseph||Indv. Leaders||Trinity Christian|
|#01 Harrison, Devin - 20||Points||#24 Perry, Jordan - 18|
|#04 Brooks, Michael - 6||Rebounds||#24 Perry, Jordan - 7|
|#01 Harrison, Devin - 6||Assists||#21 Cantu, Christian - 6|
|Calumet-St. Joseph||Team Statistics||Trinity Christian|
|49.2% (29 - 59)||Field Goals %||45.3% (24 - 53)|
|48.1% (13 - 27)||3 Point Field Goals %||36.4% (8 - 22)|
|88.2% (15 - 17)||Free Throws||72.7% (8 - 11)|
|17||2nd Chance Pts||7|
By Mike DeVader, CCSJ Assistant AD of Sports Information & Communications
PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. – Devin Harrison's 17 first-half points (5 treys) and a much more-energized CCSJ attack overwhelmed Trinity Christian (Ill.) in the regular season finale on the road, 86-64, and earned the Crimson Wave their first trip in school history to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship in Point Lookout, Mo., in the process.
With the victory, CCSJ (16-12) claimed the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) South Division title with a 12-9 overall conference mark – thus collecting an automatic bid to the 32-team tournament set to take place on March 8-14.
"I thought Devin Harrison got it started – he's a heck-of-a shooter," head coach Ryan Sexson said. "Teams have been keying in on him the last couple of games, and he hasn't got quite the looks to go down, but when a good shooter has two bad shooting games in-a-row, you know the next one's coming. We knew it was just a matter of time until he got going – and he got going in the biggest game of the year.
"Tevin Parker was just unbelievable; on the boards, defensively and finishing. Just proud of the kid – he earlier in the year he wasn't even in our rotation, and to finish the year helping win maybe the biggest game in school history."
The vibe in the gym was completely different today than it was at Holy Cross (Ind.) on Feb. 15. Calumet came ready to play and dominated the contest from the opening tip.
Harrison finished with a team-high 20 total points to go along with six assists (team-best) and a foursome of rebounds. Parker was right behind him with 19 points (6-for-7 from the floor) and five rebounds in what could-have-been his best outing of his Crimson Wave career.
Parker also added a half-dozen made free throws.
Darrick Scott bounced back from a subpar performance against the Saints to put up double-digit scoring with 17 to go along with four steals and a trio of boards. His highlight of the afternoon – and maybe of the season – came with 5:49 left in the game when the senior threw down a thunderous tomahawk slam off of a breakaway steal.
Parker – not-to-be outdone – had a one-handed dunk of his own with just around three minutes left that sent the bench into a frenzy, as the Crimson Wave knew they were on the brink of history.
As the final minute ticked away, Coach Sexson emptied the bench so all of his players could get a taste of the division-clinching action.
After the Trolls made the final bucket of the game, CCSJ regained possession and ran out the clock as the team gathered at center court in celebration of bringing home its first division championship in men's basketball.
"It means everything," Sexson said. "My first year I was an assistant and I got spoiled – we went 21-7 and thought we were going to get to the national tournament because at the time you had to win the conference tournament to get in… we got upset in the first round.
"We have some hurdles to overcome to be successful here, but it's all about the guys in your program. We've got great kids and I said it Senior Night, 'They deserve everything they are getting right now.' To get to the national tournament for the first time – to me – I bleed Crimson and that's what I have been doing for the last 11 years, so to see this sport get to represent Calumet College on the national stage I couldn't be more proud."
The Wave shot 49.2 percent from the floor (29-for-59), including a whopping 48.1 percent from the land of plenty (13-of-27).
The squad also connected on 15 of its 17 free throws.
The extra effort was apparent for all 40 minutes, as CCSJ out-rebounded Trinity Christian, 35-25, and tallied more steals and assists than their hosts.
Calumet will host St. Francis (Ill.) in the CCAC Tournament Quarterfinals on Tuesday night at home at 7 p.m.
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For more information on CCSJ Men's Basketball, please click here.