Costa Mesa, CA, March 25, 2014 – Sixth-seeded Vanguard (Calif.) captured its first-ever NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship with a 70-65 win over No. 8-seeded Emmanuel (Ga.), Tuesday evening in the championship game of the 2014 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in Municipal Auditorium.
Vanguard (32-6) becomes the third school from the Golden State (Concordia, San Diego State) to win a NAIA Division I crown and gives the school its second national championship in any sport, joining the women’s basketball team’s title from 2008. Emmanuel (33-4) also claimed its first spot in the championship game in its fourth all-time appearance in the tournament, falling to 4-4 in its history.
Championship Most Valuable Player, Preston Wynne, led the way for Vanguard with 20 points and six rebounds, while all-tournament honoree junior guard Chris Gorman added 18 points and five rebounds as the backcourt duo combined to hit all nine of their free throws. Junior forward Keith Mason chipped in with 11 points and shared game-high honors with 13 rebounds. Freshman forward Zach Allmon also pulled down 11 rebounds for Vanguard, which finished with a 49-47 edge on the glass.
“It feels amazing. We just praise God,” said Vanguard head coach Rhett Soliday, who also won a national championship as an assistant coach at Concordia (Calif.) in 2003. “We said before this game, win or lose, that we’re going to give Him the glory, because He made this a special season. This game doesn’t define our season and it doesn’t define Emmanuel’s season. We just happened to be on the winning end tonight.”
*Parts of this release taken from naia.org
To learn more about Vanguard University’s Athletics program, visit www.vanguardlions.com
Read the full story from tonight’s NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship game here: http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=209445012
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To request an interview, contact:
Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications
55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626