DIVISION II : Bakersfield Uses Defense to Repeat as Champion

From Associated Press

The second time around was just as sweet for Cal State Bakersfield.

The Roadrunners beat Southern Indiana, 92-86, Saturday to become the first team to repeat as NCAA Division II champion in 25 years.

Bakersfield (27-6) used a tight man-to-man defense to stifle the running game of Southern Indiana, which was averaging 102 points a game.

"Defense wins games," Bakersfield Coach Pat Douglass said.

It was the second consecutive year Bakersfield shut down a high-powered offense in the championship game. Last year, the Roadrunners beat a Troy State team that once scored an NCAA-record 258 points in a game.

"Defensively, they are the best team we've played," Southern Indiana Coach Bruce Pearl said. "I am very proud of our kids. But I'm frustrated. Bakersfield State didn't let us show what we could do here."

The Roadrunners went on an 11-2 run to take a 28-17 lead midway through the first half. Tyrone Davis scored on a layup, Kenny Warren made a three-point shot and Davis scored twice more during the run.

Cornelius Banks' three-point basket keyed another 9-1 run with 4:30 left in the half. The Roadrunners held the Screaming Eagles to three baskets in the final nine minutes of the half to lead, 45-30, at intermission.

Southern Indiana (29-4) chipped away at the lead in the second half, with Stan Gouard keying a 9-1 run that cut the lead to 77-71. Gouard led the Screaming Eagles with 30 points.

But Reggie Phillips' driving basket and layups by Jeff Kuehl and Warren gave Bakersfield an 85-73 cushion with two minutes left.

Phillips and Davis finished with 15 each for Bakersfield, while Roheen Oats added 13 and Kuehl 11. Banks had 11 points, including three three-pointers.

The last team to repeat as Division II champion was Kentucky Wesleyan in 1968 and 1969.

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