The #5 Rochester College Warriors won the 2018 USCAA Men’s Division I National Championship against #6 Oakwood University Ambassadors 80-61.
Coming off a women’s National Championship win earlier in the day, Rochester looked to bring back the men’s title back to Rochester Hills, Michigan, while Oakwood was vying for their own after winning their third National Championship in 2016.
Championship Saturday’s nightcap began with the Warriors getting out to a hot start against the Ambassadors. A Kash Blackwell three-point play put Rochester up 11-2 with less than 3 minutes in, and a Justin Nafso 3-pointer halfway through the first half put Rochester up 21-10. Nafso finished the evening with 27 points and 7 assists and was named tournament MVP. Rochester held a commanding throughout the entire first half. Oakwood chipped away at the lead with 7 points from Michael Middleton in the first half.
The second half would be more of the same. When the Ambassadors would have a quick spurt of offense, Rochester would respond with one of their own. With 10:38 left in regulation, Middleton sinked a 3-pointer to make the game 48-43. But in true Warrior fashion, they did not break and slowly extended their lead en route to their fourth USCAA National Championship. Bright spots for Rochester included Kash Blackwell, who scored 16 points in 32 minutes and Peter Agba, who added 11 rebounds and 8 points. Oakwood’s leading scorer, Talik Talton, finished the evening with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Men’s Division II Tournament MVP
Justin Nafso, Rochester College
Men’s Division II All-Tournament Team
Kash Blackwell, Rochester College
Armand Cartwright, Rochester College
Michael Middleton, Oakwood University
Talic Talton, Oakwood University
Jessy Cantinol, Florida National