South Plains College went to the free-throw line 45 times, converting on 35 of those freebies to edge the College of Southern Idaho 98-95 in the NJCAA (Junior College) National Tournament championship game Saturday at Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kansas.
The 10th-seeded Golden Eagles (31-6) were whistled for 27 fouls, and sophomore forward Tommy Burton and sophomore guard Danya Kingsby each fouled out. Despite making 14 3-pointers, CSI shot just 38.1 percent from the floor, while the 13th-seeded Texans shot 50 percent.
Five Texans (28-8) scored in double digits, led by Deshawn Corprew with 21 points. Christopher Orlina (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Isaiah Maurice (20 points, 11 rebounds) each added double-doubles for South Plains.
Charles Jones Jr. contributed a game-high 27 points for the Golden Eagles, who were trying to win their fourth national title in program history and first since 2011.
Friday: CSI continues upset streak
The College of Southern Idaho men’s basketball team clawed back from as much as a 16-point deficit to earn a spot in the NJCAA (Junior College) National Tournament championship game for the first time since 2011.
The 10th-seeded Golden Eagles rallied past No. 3 Vincennes (Indiana) 80-74 in the semifinals Friday night at Hutchinson Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kansas.
CSI (31-5) will try for the fourth national title in program history against No. 13 South Plains College (Texas) at 6 p.m. Mountain time on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles previously won national titles in 1976, 1987 and 2011, and have appeared in the national championship game six times, according to njcaa.org.
Sophomore guard Charles Jones Jr. led the Golden Eagles in scoring for the second straight night with 22 points against the Trailblazers (34-1), and sophomore Danya Kingsby added 19 points, including four free throws in the final 17 seconds.