Separated by just 15 miles, Davenport University and Cornerstone University have certainly built a cross-town rivalry. Although in town, it is never easy to go into the other team’s facility and pick up a win. Both road team’s struggled in this one and both road team’s were higher rated. Neither game had a conference championship on the line, but both lower rated teams were looking for upsets to try and secure a spot in the respective NAIA National tournament.
The women’s contest took place at Cornerstone University where the No. 15 Lady Eagles hosted the No. 1 Lady Panthers. The game was a back and forth fight for the entire game with Cornerstone controlling most of the first half. CU led at intermission 23-21. The second half went back and forth as well with Davenport taking slight control. The Lady Panthers built a lead late before back to back three point baskets brought the Lady Eagles back in the game. In the end the top-ranked Panthers were too much and picked up a 61-56 victory. The Lady Panthers finished off a perfect regular season, 30-0.
In game two of the Victory Sports Network NAIA Game of the Week it was the men’s contest across town at Davenport University. Cornerstone entered the game as the No. 3 team in the country and just three losses. The Panthers, ranked No. 11 in the latest NAIA poll, were trying to avenge an earlier loss to the Golden Eagles. Davenport controlled the opening minutes of the game before Cornerstone found stride. Led by 12 Nathan Cox points in the first half and 10 from James Nelson, the Panthers took an eight point lead into intermission. The Eagles were paced by 15 first half points from Justin Yoder. Cornerstone started off the second half with everything clicking as they cut into the lead. The game continued to be back and forth throughout. In the final seconds Nelson was fouled on a shot attempt with 0.9 seconds remaining. The redshirt junior connected on both free throws to tie the game at 74. Cornerstone had one last chance and Kelvin DeVries shot from just beyond the half court line clanked off the iron to end regulation. The game continued back and forth in the first overtime period. Cox had a chance to be the hero for the Panthers as time expired but solid Golden Eagle defense forced the shot to come up short. The first overtime period ended tied at 85. The second overtime was much the same. Davenport took a 98-95 lead with 22 seconds remaining. Cornerstone couldn’t connect on a shot and on the final possession Davenport senior Darryl Nobles stole the ball and the Panthers ran out the final seconds to seal the upset win.
You can watch both games on demand on the Victory Sports Network Livestream page.