Cougar basketball headed to nationals again

The Cougar basketball season ended in a fever-pitch of excitement, as the men's and women's teams advanced to national NAIA tournament play.

On March 9, the 13th-ranked men emerged from a first-round matchup with an 87-79 win over Northwest (Washington) in Point Lookout, Mo. USF's Ethan Hussey scored a personal and team-high 23 points in the victory.

On March 11, Matt Edmonds' tip-in with 0.8 second remaining lifted the Cougars over Bellevue, 76-74, sending them on to the Elite 8. The defending national champion Cougars continued their winning ways on March 12, defeating Davenport 61-57, behind Ethan Hussey's three-point basket with .38 seconds remaining.

The Cougars continued to bound forward in their Final Four game March 14, defeating the College of the Ozarks 67-64 to advance to the championship game on March 15. The Cougars came up just a bit short, falling 80-71 to Cornerstone (Michigan) in the NAIA DII National Championship game, but ending their season as No. 2 in the nation. Congratulations to the team, our seniors and first-year head coach Chad LaCross!

The eighth-ranked and second-seeded women opened the NAIA Division II national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, on March 9 against 25th-ranked and seventh-seeded Cedarville, but bowed out to the Yellow Jackets in a 73-58 loss.