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March 7, 2013

NAIA DIVISION II NATIONAL TOURNAMENT: Grenadiers move on to Sweet 16

Clark leads IU Southeast with 17 points, 7 boards in 75-72 win over Valley City State

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo —  Indiana University Southeast moved into the round of 16 with a 75-72 win over Valley City State (N.D.) on Wednesday at the College of the Ozarks.

The 11th-seeded Grenadiers (28-4) led most of the contest, but Valley City State had a chance to send the game into overtime in the final seconds. However, John Raquel’s 3-pointer missed to preserve IU Southeast’s ninth straight win.

IU Southeast will face either sixth-seeded Saint Xavier (Ill.) or Saint Mary (Kan.) on Friday at 5 p.m. The Saint Xavier-Saint Mary game ended after the News and Tribune’s deadline.

Four Grenadiers scored in double-figures on Wedneday, led by Kegan Clark’s 17. Kevin Mitchell added 14 points, and Seymour grad Matt Trimnell and Jake Simpson scored 12 apiece. KIAC Player of the Year Cameron Mitchell was held to nine points on 1-of-2 shooting, but he did had a team-best nine rebounds for IU Southeast, which shot 44 percent from the field and 39 from the 3-point line. The Grenadiers made 16 of their 17 free throws.

IU Southeast looked like it may have an easy win after jumping out to a 16-8 lead when Clark scored in the paint with 12:37 left in the first half. However, the Vikings went on a 10-4 run to get within 20-18 with eight minutes left.

The game was close the rest of the way. However, IU Southeast looked to have the game in hand when it led 59-52 with 3:53 remaining in the contest.

A 3-pointer by VCSU’s Sekani Milligen, who had a game-high 23 points, capped a 20-12 run and gave the Vikings a 72-71 lead with 41 seconds left.

Clark then countered with another bucket in the paint with 31 seconds left to give the Grenadiers the lead for good.

After Milligen missed a 3, Kevin Mitchell got the rebound and was fouled. He hit both free throws for the final tally.

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