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No. 1 South Plains Prevails over No. 2 Northwest Florida for DI Men's Basketball Championship
 March 25, 2012

HUTCHINSON, Kan. –  Marshall Henderson’s 32 points led No. 1 South Plains College (Texas) to a 81-68  over No. 2 Northwest Florida State in the national title game of the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Saturday evening in Hutchinson, Kan.

The contest was the first national title game since 1999 to feature the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in Division I men’s basketball and with the victory the Texans complete a 36-0 season, which is the first undefeated championship run since Indian Hills Community College’s (Iowa) 1998 campaign.

South Plains controlled the Raiders throughout the game, but could never put the Region 8 champs away. The Texans gave up two double-digit leads in the contest despite the fact they held the lead in all but just one minute of play.

Henderson (right picture) had two big moments in the game that helped the Texans keep the Raiders at bay. With 1:24 left in the first half he elevated for a 3-point attempt, found the bottom of the net and was fouled. The four-point play put the SPC lead at six as they went into the locker room.

Late in the second half as the Texans led 76-68 with just under two minutes to play, Henderson netted a long-range 3-pointer just as the shot clock expired to put South Plains in front 79-68, which sealed the second national championship for South Plains in five seasons.

Tournament MVP Yanick Moreira had seven points and hauled in 16 rebounds. The Angola native averaged 11.0 points and 11.8 rebounds in four games in Hutchinson.

Northwest Florida State was led by Rod Rucker’s 16 points and 14 rebounds. The Raiders end their 2012 season as national runner-up with a 32-2 overall record.

Box Score

Photos from the title game and other tournament contests were taken by Randy Smith. For more tourney photos visit http://www.bigrsports.com

All-Tournament Team
Masceo Harmon – Columbia State
Marshall Henderson – South Plains
Irwin Hollinger – Seward County
Chris Jones – Northwest Florida State
Adam Link – Otero
Davon Marshall – Monroe
Jameel McKay – Indian Hills
Rod Rucker – Northwest Florida State
Orlando Sanchez – Monroe
Marcus Tarrance – Eastern Oklahoma
Nick Wiggins – Wabash Valley
Daveon Boardingham – Seward County

William B. French MVP Award
Yanick Moreira (#2 left) – South Plains

Coach of the Tournament
Steve Green – South Plains

Bud Obee Outstanding Small Player Award
Devonte Smith – South Plains

Sesher Sportsmanship Award
Brandon Harris - Otero

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