HEADED TO HUTCH: Cardinals rout Navarro in regional title game

HEADED TO HUTCH: Cardinals rout Navarro in regional title game

The Cardinals are headed to what has become their home away from home in mid-March.

As a result of an 87-67 blowout of Navarro College in the championship game of the Region XIV Tournament Saturday night, the Cardinals have punched a ticket to Hutchinson, Ks. and the NJCAA Men's Basketball National Tournament next week for the fifth time in six years.

With their 11th straight win against Navarro, the Cardinals improved to 27-7 and claimed the fifth regional title in school history, along with an eighth trip to the national tournament.

Leading 15-11 early in the opening half, the Cardinals assumed control of the game with a 13-3 run. They went on to lead 42-28 at the half.

Navarro made one run at the Cardinals midway through the second half, cutting the lead to 59-50. But the Cardinals found another gear and outscored the Bulldogs 28-17 the rest of the way to secure the regional championship in rout-like fashion.

The Cardinals were led by Tyson Jolly, who had 27 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks, earning tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Jolly already had a double-double by halftime with 13 points and 12 rebounds at the half.

Gary Lyons, who played a key role for the Cardinals during their tournament march to the title, and Jairus Roberson finished with 12 points each. Roberson had four three-pointers.

Lyons and Roberson joined Jolly on the all-tournament team.

David Nickelberry also scored in double figures with 10 points.

Bruce "BJ" Simmons and Marquan Williams finished with nine and eight points, respectively.

The Cardinals shot 56.1 percent from the floor and were 14-of-20 from the free throw line. They were 9-of-16 from beyond the three-point arc.

The Cardinals advanced to the title game with wins against Lee, 87-62, Jacksonville, 104-81, and Tyler, 77-72.

The Cardinals' previous regional championships were in 1982, 1995, 1999 and 2016. They received at-large berths to the national tournament in 2014, 2015 and 2108.


The regional tournament was played at the Gold Dome on the campus of Centenary College in Shreveport, La.