KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Justin Harley hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in overtime to give Graceland (Iowa) its first NAIA national championship with an 83-80 victory over LSU Alexandria on Tuesday night.
After a timeout with 13.4 seconds left in overtime, LT Davis stumbled at the top of the 3-point arc, drawing the attention of two LSUA defenders, and found Harley open on the wing for just his second 3-pointer of the game.
Graceland (29-10) won its 11th straight game, competing in its first NAIA Tournament.
Kansas City native Will Nelson led Graceland with 30 points and 12 rebounds and Davis added 22 points and six assists. The duo combined for nine of the Yellowjackets’ 13 3-pointers.
Nelson scored 12 points in the first half, including five in Graceland’s closing 10-0 run for a 36-28 lead.
LSUA took a 67-66 lead on William Claiborne’s shot in the paint for its first advantage since 3:14 remaining in the first half and extended it to 70-66 on Jordin Williams’ eighth 3-pointer of the game.
Davis had a 3-pointer blocked, but grabbed it and drove the lane to find Nelson for a game-tying layup with 3.5 seconds left in regulation. Brandon Moss hit the back of the rim on a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Williams made 8 of 17 from 3-point range and scored 31 points for LSUA (28-8), which entered on an 11-game winning streak. LSUA forced 20 turnovers, leading to 24 points.
It was the second-overtime game in the past three title games — with the highest attendance, 6,377, since the tournament returned to Municipal Auditorium in 2002.