March 30, 2003
LAKELAND -- Shon Robinson scored 26 and Darnell Hinson added 19 to lead Northeastern State to the Division II championship Saturday with a 75-64 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan.
The Redmen (32-3) opened the second half with a flurry of 3-pointers that turned a tie score into a 52-44 lead.
"I'd like to tell you we turn these guys into shooters when we get them," Northeastern State coach Larry Gipson said. "The truth is, we recruit shooters."
The Redmen were 2-of-9 from 3-point range in the first, but behind Robinson and Hinson, their first eight field goals after halftime were 3-pointers.
Northeastern State was 9-of-14 from 3-point range in the second. In the final three games of the tournament, the Redmen made 33-of-63 3-pointers.
Northeastern State, located in Tahlequah, Okla., had never been past the region semifinals until this season.
Kentucky Wesleyan (31-4) was appearing in its sixth consecutive title game and 13th overall. The Panthers have won eight titles, including two in the past six seasons.
Marlon Parmer, the Division II player of the year, led Kentucky Wesleyan with 17 points.
The Panthers' Bobby Zuerner hit a 3-pointer with six minutes to play that cut the lead to 56-53, but Kentucky Wesleyan couldn't get any closer.
Northeastern State put the game away by making 7-of-8 from the free-throw line and built a 12-point lead with less than a minute to play.