William Carey survives and advances to quarterfinals of NAIA tournamentBy FROM WILLIAM CAREY,
KANSAS CITY – No. 14 William Carey University advances to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history with a 62-60 over Mid-America Christian University Friday night at Municipal Auditorium.
The Crusaders were playing catch up most of the first half, until just under the eight-minute mark when they tied the game at 20 on a 3-point basket by Branden Cranford. The Evangels quickly retook the lead and closed the half with a three-quarter court heave as time expired to open a 34-29 lead at the break.
Carey regrouped in the second half and took their first lead of the night on a bucket by Javontae McDavid(Jr./Columbus) with 15:57 to play. The lead swapped hands eight times over the next four minutes until MACU reeled off six straight points to open a 49-44 lead with 10:50 left to play. The Carey offense never faltered as McDavid nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 53 all with just over five to play. For the next three minutes, the lead went back and forth and with just less than three minutes left Adrian Williams (Sr./Jackson) drained a jumper to put the Crusaders up 60-58.
Leading 62-60 with 5.6 seconds to play the Carey defense rose to the occasion to force the Evangels into a contested jumper that was off the mark at the buzzer.
The WCU defense was stellar in the second half as it held MACU to just eight second-half field goals and only one 3-point basket.
The Crusaders are back in Saturday as they take on the winner of Wiley College and Science & Arts. Tip-off is set for noon at Municipal Auditorium.