BELLEVILLE — The Lindenwood University-Belleville men's basketball team has recorded a first in the program's history.
CoachScott Spinnerand his Lynx have received a bid to the NAIA Division I National Championship in Kansas City, Mo. Action in the 32-team tournament begins Wednesday.
The national championship berth marks the first time that an athletic program at LU-Belleville will take part in a NAIA National Championship.
The Lynx finished the season 22-8, which included a 11-game winning streak. During the streak the Lynx have knocked off previously No. 1-ranked Freed-Hardeman twice by a combined three points.
Unseeded LU-Belleville will take on the No. 2 seed University of Pikeville Bears in their first round matchup. Game time is set for 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The Bears, located in Pikeville, Ky., enter the first round contest sporting a 30-2 record. Pikeville won the Mid-South Conference regular season and conference tournament championship.
The matchup will be the first meeting between these two teams. The winner will take on the winner of the No. 18 Wiley and St. Gregory's matchup. Game time for the second-round matchup is set for 12:30 p.m. Friday.
Naturally, Spinner said this accomplishment meant a great deal for his program.
"We are very excited to be competing in the national tournament," stated Spinner. "To achieve this in our first year of eligiblity for post-season competition is a very positive step for our program."
The Lynx are led byCraig Anderson,who is averaging 21.4 points per game this season. Anderson was named to the A.I.I. All-Tournament Team last weekend, after picking 35 points and eight rebounds in the Lynx loss to Life University. For the season, Anderson has picked up three double-doubles and has scored in double figures in 28 out of 29 games.
Anderson has scored at least 25 points in 11 games this season. Currently, Anderson ranks 10thin the country in points per game, 14thin total scoring (620), and 26th in steals per game (1.9).
Lawson Warrenis third on the team in scoring averaging 11.3 points per game. Warren is credited with three double-double this season.