Benedict's winning streak is snapped ending their run in the NCAA Division II Tournament
March 19, 2008
North Alabama beat Benedict College in the second half of the championship basketball game played Tuesday at George Jenkins Field House at the Florida Southern Campus. North Alabama upset Benedict 97-75 snapping Benedict's winning streak of 17 games and ending their season at 28-5.
The tournament's Most Out Standing Player is Thomas Fraise who scored 25 points in the second half of the game.
Michael Holmes led the Benedict charge in the first period with 14 points in the first half. Benedict shot 47 percent from the field but was only 3-of-30 from beyond the 3-point line. Michael Holmes was the teams leading scorer with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Charles Gibbs and Darius Lane added 19 and 13 points respectively.
Benedict took a 41-35 lead into the half but the second half was all North Alabama. UNA outscored BC 62-34 in the second half led by Thomas Fraise. Fraise scored 18 of North Alabama's first 21 points of the second half in just over eight minutes as the Lions erased a 41-35 halftime deficit. A three-point shot by Quinn Beckworth gave the Lions the lead for good at the 12:52 mark.
Fraise was 9-of-14 from the field including 3-of-4 three pointers and was perfect from the free throw line hitting on all nine of his attempts. Fraise got plenty of help from his teammates as all five starters scored in double figures including Beckwith (16), Isaac Gay (15), Casey Holt (12) and Kenny Johnson (11). Holt also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
"This was our best game of the tournament," North Alabama coach Bobby Champagne said. "I'm proud of these guys."
Fraise's dominance, inside and outside, forced the Tigers (28-5) to double team him, allowing the Lions' guards to get open.
Beckwith and Gay came up big and the Lions took the lead on Beckwith's 3-pointer with 12:51 to go in the game.
Bennie Lewis and Michael Holmes of Benedict joined Fraise on the All-Tournament Team. Along with them was Jeremy Black (Tampa), Kenny Johnson and Casey Holt from North Alabama.
"I wanted to win it for these guys," Tigers coach Fred Watson said. "Tonight North Alabama was the better team."
North Alabama (27-8) advances to the NCAA Division II Elite 8 on March 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET against the winner of the Northeast Regional betweeen Bentley and Assumption.
SEE ALSO Basketball Summaries