The 10th-ranked Bellevue University men's basketball team captured its 11th Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship in school history after defeating No. 25 Oklahoma Wesleyan University 87-75 Tuesday night at the Mueller Sports Center.
Bellevue won its 10th-straight game and improved to 28-5 and earned an automatic berth into the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship on March 12-18 in Point Lookout, Mo.
The Eagles' seven-game winning streak was snapped as they dropped to 24-9 overall.
The Bruins have now advanced to the NAIA II National Tournament for the 12th-consecutive season and 15th time in program history.
National Tournament selections will be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, March 5 at 8:00 p.m.
Lee Ames paced the Bruins with 16 points and seven rebounds while Thomas Hammock recorded 12 points on four 3-pointers.
Given Kalipinde finished with 11 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Taylor Young also scored 11 points off the bench. He added two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Eagles raced out to an early seven-point lead, 18-11, six minutes into the game before BU answered back and scored 14-straight points to take a 25-18 advantage with 7:36 left in the opening stanza.
OWU outscored the Bruins 15-11 to close the half to pull within three, 36-33, at halftime.
The Bruins made 14 of their 24 field goal attempts (58.3 percent) while the Eagles shot 48 percent from the field in the opening period.
BU scored the first 10 points in the second half, including 15 of the first 19 points, to take control of the contest. The Bruins never trailed as they outscored OWU by nine in the final period.
The Bruins only missed six shots in the second half and shot 73.9 percent as all 11 players scored.
BU shot 66 percent from the field in the championship game and held a 29-24 edge in rebounds. The Bruins' bench outscored OWU's 39-5 and BU also tallied a 16-point advantage in paint points.
Devin Harris, the MCAC Player of the Year, recorded a game-high 26 points and six assists to lead OWU.