The Multnomah Lions played in their first NCCAA Region championship game in 6 years on Saturday afternoon against the #1 seed Portland Bible College on the campus of PBC. The Lions earned the chance to play PBC for the banner by beating West Coast Baptist on Friday night 116-111.
The quick turnaround had the Lions shooting poorly to begin the game until David Walker took it upon himself to hit 4 straight three pointers in the first half to tie the score 1t 26. PBC went on a run and had a 6 point lead until Stevie Sansone nailed a jumper before the half to put MU down 4 points at 43-39.
The second half started off real bad for MU as they simply could not get anything going on defense or offense. Portland Bible stretched the lead to 13 points with 13 minutes to go when MU took a timeout. During the timeout, we all agreed to go for it with the press and try to create turnovers to get the offense going. The result? MU outscored PBC by a 31 point margin to take an 84-66 lead that they held on to the very end. The Lions won the NCCAA West Region championship by a score of 110-102. The Lions scored 71 points in the second half.
Freshman Stevie Sansone came off the bench to score 28 points and Walker added 25. The Lions went 8-11 from the three point line in the second half as PBC stayed out on the shooters. Austin Hodges kicked it into gear late and scored 15 points in the second half. MU was 14-33 from the three point line for the game. Five players scored in double figures.
MU secured the automatic bid to the NCCAA National tournament in Springfield, MO on March 5th through the 9th. MU has already accepted a bid for the ACCA National tournament next week in Joplin Missouri, so the two trips will be combined and MU will play in both tournaments. Brackets will be posted on the NCCAA and ACCA websites Sunday night.
Austin Hodges was named the MVP of the West Region and David Walker made first team. Erik Mendoza and Steve Bustrin were named to the 2nd team all-region. This is the first banner since 2007. During the Lions 5 game winning streak to end the season, they averaged 122 points per game. This is the first 5 game winning streak in 10 years at MU. The Lions are now 14-18 on the year.