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Richland Edges Minneapolis for Men's DIII Title
 March 14, 2009

Game 12 - 8 p.m.

Richland's Keith Wright looking for the pass.

Minneapolis' Peter Olafeso goes for the shot.

Richland College, Texas 58
Minneapolis Community & Technical College, Minn. 57


Cortez Wallace missed two of his three free-throw shots after being fouled with 2.3 seconds remaining to give Richland College a 58-57 edge over Minneapolis Community & Technical College to win the championship game of the NJCAA Men's Division III Basketball Championship Tournament. Richland College is the second consecutive team from District III of NJCAA Division III to win the National Championship.

The first half of the championship game started with Richland and Minneapolis going basket for basket, both teams being able to execute their offense and make key stops to keep the game close. Richland managed to break the pattern and pulled away by three points, giving them a 23-20 lead over Minneapolis at the end of the half.

Minneapolis came into the second half firing, scoring a couple of quick baskets and converting free-throws to tie the game at 29 with 16 minutes left to play. Richland went on a 9-3 run with help from a three-pointer by guard Deionta Mitchell, leading to a 48-42 point advantage with five minutes left. Down by six points, Minneapolis guard Cameron Hodges converted a lay-up to pull the Mavericks within four points of the lead. A fast break by the Mavericks resulted in Cortez Wallace scoring a lay-up, making the score 53-50, Richland. Antwan Mullins responded for Richland with a lay-up of his own, giving the Thunderducks a 57-50 lead. With just 20 seconds left in the game and no timeouts, Minneapolis pushed the ball up the court and guard Kenny Olefeso hit a three-pointer from the wing. After a missed foul shot by Richland, Cameron Hodges scored a three-pointer, bringing the Thunderducks within one point with 9.3 seconds left in the game. With 2.3 seconds to play after an incomplete trip to the line for Richland, Cortez Wallace was fouled while shooting a three-pointer. Wallace made the first shot and missed the second two, ending the game 58-57, Richland.

Richland guard Keith Wright led with 12 points and 2 rebound, while forward Giordan Cole added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunderducks. Cameron Hodges and Cortez Wallace paced the Mavericks with a combined 32 points and 16 rebounds.

All Tournament Team and MVP:

Matt Rose - Rockland Community College, N.Y.
Deon Thomas - College of DuPage, Ill.
Jamal Swanson - Mass Bay Community College, MA.
Rashawd Hatten - CCAC Allegheny, PA.
Garrett Bishop - Hudson Valley Community College, NY.
Aaron Dorrell - Bergen Community College, NJ.
Cameron Hodges - Minneapolis Community and Technical College, MN.
Giorden Cole - Richland College, TX.

MVP of the 2009 Tournament
Chibuzo Elonu - Richland College, TX

Gary Cole Coach of the Tournament:
Jon Felmet - Richland College, TX.

Game 12 - 8 p.m.

Richland College Thunderducks, Texas. (58)

Bruce Kennedy 0-2 1-2 1; Thedford Simmons 1-2 0-0 3; Antwan Mullins 3-8 3-4 9; Chibuzo Elonu 4-8 1-2 9; Keith Wright 3-5 4-6 12; Tony Bishop 3-6 0-0 6; Travis Turner 3-8 2-3 8; Giordan Cole 4-8 2-2 10. Total: 21-57 13-19 58.

Minneapolis Community College Mavericks, Minn. (57)

Sean Mayberry 2-8 2-2 6; Kenny Olafeso 2-8 3-7 8; Peter Olafeso 5-9 0-0 11; Cortez Wallace 7-12 1-8 15; Cameron Hodges 7-18 1-2 17. Total: 23-60 7-19 57.

Halftime: Richland 23, Minneapolis 20.

Three-point goals - Richland: Simmons 1-1; Mitchell 0-3; Mullins 0-1; Thompson 0-2; Wright 2-4. Minneapolis: Mayberry 0-5; K.Olafeso 1-3; Welsh 0-1; P.Olafeso 1-1; Hodges 2-8. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Richland 39 (Cole 11), Minneapolis 46 (P. Olafeso 11). Assists: Richland 9 (Simmons, Mitchell, Mullins, Turner 2), Minneapolis 5 (Mayberry, P.Olafeso 2). Total Fouls: Richland 19, Minneapolis 18.


 Please contact Gerry Raymonda Photography directly at gerry@gerryraymonda.com for a Print Resolution file $25 each.



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