Kansas City, Mo. - Auburn University Montgomery (Ala.) used a 9-2 run at the beginning of the second half to propel the Senators to a 72-62 victory over Cumberland in the final game of Day One of the 2009 Buffalo Funds NAIA Men's Division I National Basketball Tournament at Municipal Auditorium Wednesday night.
The Senators led by a slim 34-33 margin at the intermission after shooting 33 percent from the field on 10 of 30 accuracy. The Bulldogs were slightly better, making 12 of 31 for 38.7 percent, but Auburn Montgomery made three more free throws and two more 3-pointers in the half to claim the lead.
In the second half, Cumberland took a brief 35-34 lead on a basket by Brandon Powell in the first minute of play; however, the Senators' Quadavious Brown drilled two treys and a pair of free throws to give Auburn Montgomery a 42-35 lead it would never relinquish.
Brown finished with a game-high 24 points leading the Senators. He was 8 for 21 from the field, including three of 11 from outside the arc. Robert Johnson added 19 points, including 13 of 15 from the free throw line, and had a game-high 13 rebounds.
For the Bulldogs, Jamar Finley recorded 16 points while Kenneth Simms garnered 15 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Auburn Montgomery improves to 26-6 and will face William Jewell College (Mo.) Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. CDT. The Cardinals stunned top-seeded Rogers State University (Okla.) earlier on Wednesday. Cumberland completes its season with a 25-6 overall record.
GAME NOTES -- In a battle between one of the top shooting teams in the NAIA and one of the top field goal percentage defenses in the NAIA, Auburn Montgomery held Cumberland to just 39.0 percent shooting from the field ... Auburn Montgomery improves to 10-10 all-time in the NAIA Tournament, including a 6-5 mark in first-round games ... Cumberland falls to 1-3 all-time after its third appearance in the tournament ... Cumberland's loss snaps a two-game winning streak of the 16th seed in the first-round of the tournament ... Quadavious Brown had his ninth game of the season with 20 or more points.