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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Georgetown's interior game was too much today for St. Thomas-Houston (Texas) as the 13-seeded Tigers advanced with a 70-68 win in the 2013 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Municipal Auditorium.
The Tigers (24-8) advance to Friday's second round against the winner of No. 4-seed John Brown (Ark.) and unseeded Life (Ga.). Tip-off for Friday's game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. CT.
Georgetown's Vic Moses scored 26 points and pulled down 21 rebounds and Deondre McWhorter added nine points and 12 rebounds to propel the Tigers to the hard-fought win. The Tiger duo helped Georgetown to a commanding 50-31 rebounding edge.
After leading by as many as 14 points early in the second half and 60-50 midway through the half, it took a Garel Craig free throw with 14.6 seconds left to secure the win.
St. Thomas-Houston (28-6) methodically chipped away at the Tigers' second-half lead thanks in large part to the play of Travis Lampley -- who finished with 22 points.
The Celts trimmed the Georgetown lead to 64-63 with 2:34 left in the game after Caleb Williams made one of two free throws. Williams ended with 13 points.
McWhorter and Moses scored on back-to-back possessions to give the Tigers -- who never trailed in the game -- a 68-63 cushion with 48.1 seconds left.
Lampley sandwiched a driving layup and an improbable 27-foot 3-pointer in between Craig's free throw to cut the Tiger lead to 69-68. The latter basket came with 1.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
Allan Thomas made one of two free throws in the final second to end the game at 70-68.
Georgetown -- in its NAIA-best 32nd national tournament compared to first-timer St. Thomas-Houston -- looked right at home at Municipal early scoring 17 of the game's first 23 points.
The Celts used a run of their own to battle back to within two points (19-17) with 11 minutes remaining until the break.
The Tigers responded with a 15-4 run to reclaim a double-digit lead and eventually led 41-29 at the break.
Georgetown advances despite shooting just 37.9 percent (23-of-60) from the floor. But the rebounding advantage coupled with 22-for-27 shooting at the free throw line proved to be enough to advance.