LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Oregon Tech men’s basketball team has been named the “Verizon Team of the Week” in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, the conference office announced Sunday.
The Owls defeated Northwood (Fla.) in the national championship game Tuesday, 63-46. OIT won its third national title, all under head coach Danny Miles, and tied Bethel (Ind.) for most national titles in NAIA Div. 2. Tech won five of its school-record 34 victories during the national tournament at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo.
In a matchup between the top two seeds in the tournament, it was the second-seeded Owls that prevailed with the title. The 109 point total by both teams is a tournament final low, while Oregon Tech also held the Seahawks to the least points scored by a team in a championship game with 46. Northwood led 19-18 at halftime.
Tournament MVP Bobby Hunter recorded a game-high 20 points, 18 of those in the second period, to go with nine rebounds. He was the first freshman to ever win the award. Jason Gamblin, keeping the Owls in the game during the first half, came away with 16 points on 7-of-10 from the field and six rebounds. David Clarke, Tech’s most proficient outside threat in tournament play, came away with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Kyle Gomez added nine points and six rebounds.
Hunter scored 106 points in the tournament, an average of 21.2 points per game. The freshman shot 57 percent during the five games at the tournament. The conference’s men’s Player of the Year, Hunter, was named first team All-American. Hunter led the CCC in conference scoring average (20.0 ppg), was fourth in steals (2.31 spg) while averaging just under 32 minutes played per game. He was also named the CCC Newcomer of the Year.
At the tournament, Miles was named national Coach of the Year. He also won the award in 2004 and 2008, when the Hustlin’ Owls won their other national championships. Gomez won the Mr. Hustle Award. Tech now has 32 tournament victories; three better than Northwestern of Iowa on the all-time list.