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Georgetown College men's basketball had a tough, first round match up in the 2017 Buffalo Funds – NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. The No. 15 Tigers (24-7) drew No. 18 Park University (21-8), a team just 15 minutes from downtown Kansas City, Mo. and Municipal Auditorium. None the less, Edson Avila provided the spark and GC showed a lot of grit in beating a very talented and hot Pirates team, 81-72.
"I'm proud of the toughness we showed down the stretch," said GC coach Chris Briggs. "We stepped up and made the stops we needed. Raymond (Baldwin) was solid against Xavier (Brown) – a three-time All-American – and Edson was huge."
Georgetown College men's basketball learned its fate Wednesday evening, earning a 26th straight trip to the NAIA national tournament with its 23-7 record.
The No. 12 Tigers, for just the fourth time in program history and second at the national tournament, will battle Park University. Tip is set for 7:30 pm EDT Wednesday in Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. The Pirates (21-7) defeated GC in the first round of the 2010 Buffalo Funds Division I Men's Basketball National Championship.
Georgetown College men's basketball needed another rally in Saturday's Mid-South Conference tournament semifinals. However, No. 8 University of Pikeville weathered the two furious runs to hold off No. 12 Tigers (23-7) from having a chance to defend the 2016 title. The Bears (26-6) won 74-67.
GC got it within three with the ball just less than 30 seconds left. A quick inbound, corner attempt by Georgetown came up short. The Tigers got the rebound, but came up short one more time. UPike made four free throws in the final 17 seconds to lock up a meeting with Life University in Sunday's finals.
Darion Burns has been a solid point guard for the Georgetown College men's basketball team for the past three seasons. He is currently top five in the nation in assist to turnover ratio and rarely makes mistakes. He can also take a game over if needed as he proved Friday in the Mid-South Conference Tournament quarterfinals against Campbellsville University. He helped GC get going offensively, erasing a double-digit deficit in a 75-70 win. The Tigers advance to Saturday's 8 pm semifinal game where they will face No. 8 University of Pikeville (26-6).
GC struggled to find an offensive rhythm early, while CU (15-15) was not missing. Burns took a pass from Troy Steward and hit a three as time expired in the first half. This ignited a 23-4 run that put GC in the driver's seat.
The Mid-South Conference kicked off the men's basketball postseason with a banquet Thursday evening in Frankfort's Capital City Plaza Hotel. The student-athletes and coaches of eight teams were honored for a great season – four teams finished ranked in the Top 25 and a fifth was receiving votes.
At the banquet, GC's Nicolas Da Villalobos Paz, Chase Gardner and Austin Keene were recognized for being sophomores or higher with at least a 3.25 grade point average.
Then Darion Burns and Chris Coffey earned second-team all-conference, while Quan Poindexter and Troy Steward were first team.
|(15) Georgetown vs||79|
|(2) William Penn University||87|
|2017 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Second Round|