By Natalie Fazio
SAN ANTONIO – The Our Lady of the Lake University men’s basketball season came to a close on Friday after a tough loss against William Penn University in the national tournament. The men traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to compete in the NAIA tournament with 32 other teams from across the country. The men came into the tournament ranked sixteenth overall.
OLLU began play in the tournament against Hope International on Thursday coming out with a 68-60 win. Courtney Julien lead the stat board with 16 points, with Brendell Collins trailing with 13 points.
“I think the experience so far has been great we were able to get here and do something for the community which always puts playing into a whole other perspective so that was great,” said Collins about his second NAIA tournament experience.
The men moved forward to the sweet sixteen matching up against Carroll University Friday evening pulling out another close win ending the game at 64-62. Julien and Darion Brown led the stat board totaling 14 points each. Brown felt a lot of emotions during the tournament, with the loss of his head coach a week before they left for Kansas City, and it possibly being his last game at any point.
“I am just trying to play every point to my highest potential and play it for the people who got me here and who made me the player I am today, that’s really all I am thinking about during this tournament.” Brown said.
Playing in the elite 8 of the tournament Saturday evening, the team faced William Penn University falling short 76-89 in a long fought battle. For the third time in the tournament Julien lead the stat board with 18 points with Alex Doche.
Assistant coach, Micheal Pointdexter, was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season. When asked how he thought the men finished out their season he was proud.
“These guys were put through a lot there at the end of the season and I think they really showed true character and mental strength by coming to this tournament and playing the way they thought that they have always played. It was a great experience to coach for sure,” said Pointdexter.
The men finished out their season with a record of 23-12 and are starting to prepare for next season.