KANSAS CITY — A season-low scoring output came at a bad time in a NAIA Nationals Tournament full of upsets as No. 2 William Penn (25-2) fell victim to an 85-62 loss to No. 15 Carroll (20-7).

Both sides were feeling each other out and trying to find a groove as William Penn took a 9-7 lead seven minutes into the game as both teams were shooting under 30% from the field.

Back-to-back threes from Josh Watkins and Ty Majilk-Autry put the Statesmen in front 15-7 midway through the first.

Watkins briefly caught fire with another two threes to bring his point total to nine to pace WPU in the first half but the resilient Fighting Saints would battle back to take a 31-25 lead behind a 10-0 run with 4:48 left in the half.

That run continued as to build to a 19-5 run for Carroll, who would take a 40-30 lead to the half.

William Penn, who came in as the highest-scoring team in the NAIA at over 100 points per game, was held to 36% shooting from the field and just 2-of-4 from the free throw line.

Meanwhile, Carroll got a strong half from Jovan Sljivancanin, who racked up 13 points, four rebounds and an assist.

William Penn came out of the half on a 5-0 run but Carroll would respond with another big run, this time it was a 12-2 run to balloon their lead to 15 with 13:20 left in the game as the Statesmen’s turnovers crept up to 14 on the night against the Fighting Saints’ eight.

WPU came up with some much-needed stops and was able to cut the deficit to 12 with 9:34 to despite seeing Q Cager go down to an injury.

The two teams exchanged baskets and free throws as Carroll would hold their 15-point lead with 5:40 left.

But it just wasn’t the Statesmen’s night as Carroll closed out the game and secured the upset while holding WPU to a season-low 62 points.

The Statesmen would end up shooting 36% from the field, 7-of-21 from three and just 9-of-17 from the charity stripe with 18 turnovers. Carroll, meanwhile, shot 46% from the floor, 12-of-21 from three and 17-of-21 from the line.

William Penn's leading scorer Kevion Blaylock was held to five points on 2-of-12 shooting and the Statesmen were without second-leading scorer Karmari Newman. Add on the injury in the second half to third-leading scorer Cager and the Statesmen were running low on firepower.

Watkins would lead WPU with 15 points and two rebounds while Majilk-Autry added 12 points and two rebounds.

Carroll was led by Sljivancanin’s 20-point effort while Dennis Flowers III added 19 points for the Fighting Saints.

A veteran Statesmen team finishes the year with a 25-2 record. The top two seeds were eliminated in the first round as William Penn joined No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan in an early exit from Kansas City.

Carroll (Mont.) vs. William Penn (Iowa)

Carroll (Mont.) (20-7)

Shamrock Campbell 5-10 2-2 15, Jovan Sljivancanin 8-20 1-2 20, Jaedon Lieberg 0-0 0-0 0, Brendan Temple 2-4 0-0 4, Jonny Hillman 1-1 0-0 3, Sayer Patton 0-0 0-0 0, Ifeanyi Okeke 2-3 3-4 7, Dennis Flowers III 5-12 6-7 19, Malachi Afework 1-1 2-2 5, Murat Guzelocak 2-6 3-4 7, Gui Pedra 2-3 0-0 5, Brad King 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-61 17-21 85.

William Penn (Iowa) (25-2)

Eddie Daley 2-9 2-2 6, Q Cager 2-3 2-6 6, Ahmad Pender 2-5 1-2 5, Josh Watkins 5-10 0-0 15, Nathan Gehring 0-3 2-2 2, Chanze Cruesoe 2-5 0-0 4, Kevion Blaylock 2-12 1-2 5, Brandon Faison 3-8 1-2 7, Jordan Golden 0-0 0-0 0, Thomas Stanley 0-1 0-0 0, Ty Majlik-Autry 5-7 0-1 12. Totals 23-63 9-17 62.


Carroll (Mont.) 40-45—85

William Penn (Iowa) 30-32—62

FG%: Carroll (Mont.) .459, William Penn (Iowa) .365. 3-pt FG:Carroll (Mont.) 12-21 (Campbell 3-7, Sljivancanin 3-5, Hillman 1-1, Flowers III 3-6, Afework 1-1, Pedra 1-1), William Penn (Iowa) 7-21 (Daley 0-2, Watkins 5-10, Blaylock 0-2, Faison 0-2, Stanley 0-1, Majlik-Autry 2-4). Rebounds: Carroll (Mont.) 34 (Guzelocak 6), William Penn (Iowa) 43 (Blaylock 10). Fouls Carroll (Mont.) 15, William Penn (Iowa) 17. Fouled out: none. Technical: none. Assists: Carroll (Mont.) 12 (Flowers III 4), William Penn (Iowa) 9 (Faison 4). Steals: Carroll (Mont.) 9 (Sljivancanin 2, Flowers III 2, Pedra 2), William Penn (Iowa) 4 (Pender 2, Faison 2). Blocked shots: Carroll (Mont.) 2 (Temple 1, Okeke 1), William Penn (Iowa) 4 (Pender 2). Turnovers: Carroll (Mont.) 10, William Penn (Iowa) 18.

Colin Peters can be reached at 641-672-2581, by email at cpeters@oskyherald.com or on Twitter @ColinPetersOH.

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