Hastings College relied on a freshman to help rally for a win over Cardinal Stritch University in the first round of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Tournament, for a 65-62 win.
Jake Marvin, a 6-8 forward, scored 14 of his game-high 31 points in the final 5:07 to lead Hastings (24-8) back from a 15-point second-half deficit to a thrilling 65-62 victory in the 16th and final game of the first round. With the win, the Broncos will take on defending National Champion Oklahoma Wesleyan Friday night at 9:15 p.m. Hastings’ victory also completed a perfect 3-for-3 first round for Great Plains Athletic Conference teams as the University of Sioux Falls and No. 7 Dakota Wesleyan University also won and will join the Broncos in the second round.
After Hastings whittled the Cardinal Stritch (27-6) lead down to just two points just over a minute remaining, Marvin missed inside, but on the scramble for the rebound teammate Kylor Dossett saved the ball from going out of bounds with a perfect pass back to Marvin under the basket for an easy layup and a tie game at 58-58 with 1:06 to play.
The Wolves missed on the other end and Marvin was fouled on the rebound. He calmly sank both free throws for Hastings’ first lead since 2-0 and, after another CSU miss, the freshman got the rebound, was fouled again and made two more for a 62-58 lead with just 25.2 seconds left. The Broncos made enough free throws the rest of the way to pull out the improbable victory.
Things didn’t look good for Hastings, starting in the game’s first minutes. Cardinal Stritch took control early thanks to a combination of great defense and Hastings’ shooting woes. The Broncos, who have made 280 3-pointers at a 36.7 percent clip this season, shot just 1-for-17 (5.8 percent) from behind the arc in the first half and 28.1 percent (9-for-32) overall from the floor. Hastings also played most of the half without star point guard Jeremiah Slough, who picked up three early fouls and saw the court for just eight minutes in the opening half.