The top ranked CC Cougars used an early 18-1 run to blast Oklahoma City 68-37.Kansas City, Mo. – The No. 1 ranked Columbia Cougar men’s basketball team opened up play in the 2013 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship with a 68-37 first round victory over Oklahoma City University on Wednesday night. Columbia, the tournament’s top overall seed, improves to 34-0 overall and remains the nation’s last remaining unbeaten team of the 2012-13 season. The Stars end the year with a record of 17-11.
Both teams started slow as the score was knotted at two after three and a half minutes of play. That’s when the Cougars began an 18-1 run to take control of the contest as they led 20-3 at the 8:43 mark of the first period. Columbia continued to dominate from there, taking a 31-12 lead at the halftime break after holding Oklahoma City to 17 percent shooting in the opening frame. Senior Jordan Dressler sparked the Cougars’ early run with a pair of three-pointers and led all players with 12 points and nine rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
Columbia stretched its lead out to 35 points over the final period as they cruised to the blowout victory. The Cougars finished at 47 percent from the field on the night and also owned a 48-36 advantage on the glass. Columbia had 19 assists for the game and outscored the Stars 35-16 in the paint.
Dressler was a force all game for the Cougars, finishing with a game-high 21 points and 13 rebounds. Derrick Dilworth chipped in 11 points as well for Columbia, who received scoring contributions from 11 players on the night. Junior Devin Griffin notched his 1,000th career point with the Cougars in the second half.
Terrence Walker led Oklahoma City with 13 points
Columbia will be off tomorrow before taking on Hope International (Calif.) University in Friday’s second round game at 6:15 p.m. The Royals defeated 16th ranked Emmanuel (Ga.) College 80-62 in Wednesday’s first round action. Friday’s matchup will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.