BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – The Oklahoma Wesleyan men’s basketball team earned an automatic berth into next week’s NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship after defeating Southwestern College in the KCAC Tournament Championship. The Eagles will face Bethel College (Ind.) in the First Round on Wednesday, March 7, at 1:45 pm inside the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Oklahoma Wesleyan moved up to No. 16 in the final NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, which is the highest the Eagles have been ranked this season. They received one of four No. 4 seeds in this year’s 32-team field at the NAIA Division II National Championship.
Oklahoma Wesleyan ranks among the top 10 in the NAIA in many categories this season. The Eagles are currently No. 1 in Blocks per Game (4.9), No. 2 in Field Goal Pct Defense (0.393), and No. 5 in Total Rebounds per Game (42.9). KJ Malveau leads the team in scoring at 15.0 points per game and also averages a team best 4.1 assists per game. Breiman Alexander averages 13.1 points, while Isaak Rowe averages 12.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Josh Wilchcombe, who was recently named to the KCAC All-Defensive Team, is averaging a double-double on the season. The 6-8 junior from Elmont, NY, is averaging 12.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season, while also averaging 2.9 blocks per game.
Bethel (Ind.) enters next week’s tournament with a 22-9 overall record and ranked No. 18 in the final NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll. The Pilots are led in scoring and rebounding by Gage Ott who averages 16.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
The winner of Wednesday’s game will face either No. 1 IU East (Ind.) or Voorhees (S.C.) on Friday at 8:30 am.
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