Georgetown College men’s basketball climbed the mountain and liked the view. They clawed, scrapped, hustled and out-muscled Southwestern Assemblies of God University for the Tigers first national title since 2001 and first in men’s basketball since 1998.
The No. 13 team in the nation and an at-large seven seed in the brutal 31-game, six-day tournament, made good on preseason predictions..being the favorite to win it all this year. The Tigers (28-8) started slow, but once the wheels got turning, never looked back in an 88-62 victory over the Lions.
They join an elite group of 15 teams to ever win this championship more than once. They snap a 16-year drought and a 13-year absence from the finals. With Tuesday’s win, GC runs its record to 59-30 all-time in Kansas City. That mark is the best, only Oklahoma Baptist sits with the Tigers there. Coach Chris Briggs is 7-1 with a title in his two-years at the helm.
“This team can do unbelievable things and I’m glad everyone got to see it,” Briggs said. “These guys don’t quit. They have a heart and toughness that can’t be described. I saw it in their eyes and knew they wanted this title.
“It’s so exciting to see Vic (Moses), Garel (Craig) and Allan (Thomas) go out this way. It was a total team effort and to be able to see us come together this way here was incredible. Now we get to enjoy this.”
Monty Wilson led the charge once again with 23 points, while Moses, Craig and Deondre McWhorter all chipped in with 14 and Thomas with 12. GC almost doubled the Lions on the glass, 61-31. Moses grabbed 13 of those to finish his senior season with five straight double-double games, all in the national tournament.
Thomas also had 13 boards for a double-double, while Montavious Marc crashed the glass hard as well with 12 rebounds.
GC’s defense flexed its muscle, allowing the hot-shooting Lions just 28.6 percent from the field. SAGU also struggled from deep (8-32), which has been its staple throughout the previous four games.
Dominque Rambo tied Wilson for the game-high with 23 as well, while Caleb Gentry was the other Lion to reach double digits with 15.
Wilson was named tournament MVP, while Moses joined him on the all-tournament team in addition to Player of the Year honors.
The Tigers return to Georgetown is yet unknown, but keep watching the athletic website, twitter feed and Facebook for that announcement.