The Emmanuel College Men’s Basketball Team wrapped up their impressive 33-4 season, which included a 21-game winning streak, and finish as second in the nation as they fell 70-65 to Vanguard University (Calif.) in the championship game last night at the 2014 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
This was Emmanuel’s first appearance in the championship game in its fourth all-time appearance in the NAIA tournament.
"Vanguard was the better team—they played really good basketball," says EC Head Coach T.J. Rosene. "They guarded our guard penetration and were quicker to the ball. We have to give them a lot of credit."
Two EC players were named to the All-Tournament Team. Michael Stanley from Mobile, Ala., led the way for the EC Lions with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Adrian Justice, a senior from Miami, Fla., made a key three-point play late in the game to bring Emmanuel within two points with 3:51 remaining in this closely matched contest.
Stanley also scored in double figures for the 10th-straight game and posted his third double-double in five tournament games. Forward Patrick McCrary from Danielsville, Ga., also added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Coach Rosene was named the winner of the Charles A. Krigel Award. It is given to coach of the team who best exhibits respect, civility, integrity and fair play, the qualities that define sportsmanship.
The day before, Coach Rosene had emailed this message back to campus:
Dear Emmanuel Family,
I cannot tell you how thankful we are for all of your support. We are humbled to be able to represent this great college and our King on a stage like this.
Everyday we have strived to represent our team, college and most of all Jesus Christ in a manner which is honoring to Him. Win or lose tomorrow, we are thankful for the stage the Lord has provided for us to share who Emmanuel College is—a place with a mighty name and an even greater mission.
Once again, we are so thankful for all of your support. We are all on this mission together.
It's a great to be a Lion!
Coach T.J. Rosene