MO State HS Sports

Cougars Drop Heartbreaker in 2OT in NAIA Opening Round

collin parker

Marion, Ind. – The No. 15 seed Columbia College men’s basketball team fought till the very end in a season-ending 105-99 double overtime loss at No. 2 seed and No. 6 ranked Indiana Wesleyan University Friday in the opening round of the 2024 NAIA National Tournament at Luckey Arena in Marion, Ind.

Collin Parker had a double-double with a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Harrison Vickers had 23 points and Isaiah Holden scored a career-best 22 points. The Cougars connected on 16 threes and shot 46.8 percent (37-79) from the field in the loss. 

Holden sent the game to overtime with a lay-up with 32 seconds left, and Trever Moore had a chance to win it in as time expired in the first overtime but his three was off the mark.

Indiana Wesleyan improved to 27-5 with the win, while Columbia had its season come to an end with a 24-7 mark. Indiana Wesleyan plays the winner of No. 12 Tennessee Southern and Tougaloo on Saturday, March 16 at 5 p.m. (ET) in the NAIA second round.

Columbia kept it close early in the contest as the Parker brothers – Carson and Collin – combined to score eight of the first 10 points and trailed 12-10.  Back-to-back threes from Collin Parker trimmed the IWU advantage to 24-21, and then he drained another three from 25-feet out to tie the game at 24-24.

Isaiah Holden canned a pair of free-throws with 5:23 left before half to give the Cougars their first lead of the game at 26-24. 

The game was tied 33-33 at the half as Parker had 16 points on four three-pointers to lead the Cougars, who shot 37.5 percent (12-32) in the first half. 

Columbia tied the score at 54-54 with 12:33 left on a three-pointer by Moore, but Indiana Wesleyan answered with an 8-0 run. Back-to-back threes by Collin Parker trimmed the lead to 66-62, and then a three-point play by Beau Washer tied the contest at 72-72 with 4:34 to play.

Indiana Wesleyan led by four (79-75) with 1:27 left, but a lay-up by Marlon Allen and a bucket by Holden tied the contest and sent the game to an extra frame.

Vickers drained a three-pointer to give the Cougars an 86-83 lead with 2:14 to play in the first overtime, but five-straight points by the Wildcats made it 88-86. Collin Parker hit two-free-throws with 36 seconds left to tie the game at 88-88.

Jared Buchanan led the Wildcats with 30 points and scored his 1,000th career point midway through the first half, while Caedmon Bontrager (24 points), Griffin Kliewer (14), Nathan Childress (12) and DJ Moore (12) also scored in double figures. The Wildcats had a 22-8 advantage in points off turnovers.

NOTES: Columbia and Indiana Wesleyan met for the first time since 1995 and for the second time in school history … The Cougars made their 24th all-time appearance in the NAIA Tournament … The Wildcats are 16-1 at home this season.

This article is provided by Columbia Cougar Athletics