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Eagles can’t hold on

From the Associated Press

Willie Irick scored 17 points to help Oklahoma City overcome an early Concordia lead Tuesday night and defeat the Eagles, 79-71, in the championship game of the National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

It’s the fifth small-college championship since 1991 for the Stars (35-2), who were beaten on a last-second three-point basket in last season’s title game but came back with 10 new players.

Concordia (31-7), the 2003 NAIA champion, may have been a step slow after its quadruple-overtime 124-119 victory over top-seeded Robert Morris in Monday night’s semifinals, the highest-scoring and second-longest game in the tournament’s 70-year history.

The Eagles made six of their first seven three-point baskets and took an early eight-point lead on Terrence Worthy’s long-range shot. But they missed their next 18 from beyond the arc and finished six for 25.

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The closest Concordia came in the second half was 49-47, when Josh Kremer banked home a shot with 14:04 to go.

Then Irick connected and Nick Covington followed with a three-point basket and Oklahoma City began pulling away as Concordia kept missing from the outside.

Levi Luster had 23 points for the Eagles. Kremer, who struggled inside against 6-foot-10 B.J. Walker, had 11 points.

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Louisiana State center Glen Davis said he will skip his senior season of eligibility to make himself available for the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-9, 290-pound junior averaged 17.7 points and 10.4 rebounds this season, missing several games because of a strained quadriceps. He is the only LSU player other than Shaquille O’Neal with career totals surpassing 1,500 points, 900 rebounds and 100 blocks.

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Kansas assistant Tim Jankovich was hired as coach of Illinois State, taking over a team that hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament in a decade. Jankovich replaces Porter Moser, who was fired March 5 after his teams went 51-67 in four seasons.

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Freshman forward Ben Eaves is leaving Connecticut and plans to transfer to another school.


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