Colton Rausch hit a three-point shot with 1:37 left in the game to give Friends the lead, and the Falcons hit four three throws down the stretch to secure a 90-85 victory over Northwood (Fla.) on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the NAIA Division II men’s basketball tournament in Point Lookout, Mo.
Friends trailed 40-36 at halftime, but never let the game get away in the second half — Northwoods’ largest lead in the second half was six points. Friends took a 54-53 lead on a basket by Joe Mitchell with 14:58 to play and built its lead to six points before Northwoods battled back. From there, there were six ties and six more lead changes, the last coming on Rausch’s three that put Friends ahead 86-85. Mitchell and Zach Nelson each hit a pair of free throws in the final minute.
Nelson and Mitchell each finished with 25 points and Rausch scored 17. Nelson hit six three-pointers.
Friends will play Cornerstone (Mich.) in the second round at 4 p.m. Friday.
Northwestern trailed 62-60 with three seconds left in the game and inbounded the ball from under the basket. Paige O’Neal found Hutson in the lane, and Hutson scored and was fouled by Janelle Rust.
Tonisha Dean lead Tabor with 14 points.