JOPLIN, MISSOURI – The Multnomah Lions took on the Champion Baptist Eagles on Friday afternoon in the third game of the ACCA National Tournament. Both teams were playing for the right to compete for 5th place on Saturday afternoon. Champion Baptist is the 8th seed in the tournament and lost to the #1 seed last night at the buzzer.
MU pretty much stunk in the first half as shots weren’t falling and their defense was not getting the job done. All this resulted in MU being behind by a score of 40-39 at the half. Champion only had 3 players score in the first half as they have the nations leading scorer playing for them. The Lions decided to go to a triangle and two in the second half, which turned out to be an epic failure as the Lions fell behind by 11 in the half.
After getting back to the basics of the MU way of playing basketball, Austin Hodges took over. The senior All-American scored from everywhere. Hodges hit 6 out of 10 from downtown and took it to the hole strong. He finished with 32 points. With 5 minutes to go and the Lions crawling back into the game, freshman Jordan Paris nailed a three pointer to give the Lions a temporary lead, but the Eagles came back strong and took the lead back.
On the Lions last 5 possessions in a close game, Stevie Sansone, Hodges, Steve Bustrin and Davey Walker all scored. Champion went down and scored on a put back basket with 24 seconds left. MU did not take a time out, but instead got the ball to Bustrin who took it strong to the hole and made an absolutely beautiful pass to the open Davey Walker in the right hand corner. Walker calmly nailed the three pointer to give the Lions the 94-91 victory.
MU will play tomorrow at 12:30 CST for fifth place in the ACCA National Tournament (12 teams). They will then travel to Springfield, MO for the NCCAA National Tourney.
SCORING: Walker – 20, Mendoza – 7, S. Coleman – 1, Johnson – 3, Kamlade – 3, Bustrin – 10, Hodges – 32, Sansone – 13, Paris - 5