DANVILLE, Ill. - Erie Community College opened the NJCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Champinship Tuesday morning with an 87-78 upset of Louisburg (N.C.) College, the No. 4 seed and last year’s tournament runner-up. ECC is seeded 13th.
Coach Alex Nwora’s Kats (19-9) won’t play their second round game until 9 p.m. Thursday night when they face the winner of today’s 1 p.m. first-round game between defending champion and No. 5 seed Southwestern Iowa (26-7) and No. 12 Dakota County of Minnesota (22-8).
After a 38-all first half, ECC grabbed the lead and held it throughout the second half, building the advantage to as many as 18 points with 4:38 left. There were eight lead changes in the first half with Louisburg’s largest lead of five points coming with 13:06 left in the half.
Kasey Walker-Gregg, a 6-foot freshman guard from Mount St. Michael’s in the Bronx and the MVP of the Region III tournament, led the scoring for the Kats with 28 points. He made 8 of 13 field goal attempts and 8 of 10 free throws and also had eight assists. Shevon Anisca, a 6-4 freshman from Brooklyn, followed with 22 points while Kyle Harris, a 6-1 freshman from Park School had 13.
Jordan Oakley had 24 points and Lewis Freeman 20 for Louisburg, which got 12 assists from Mike Watkins.
ECC had nine steals as Louisburg had 22 turnovers to 14 for the Kats. The North Carolina team was held 17 points below its 95.1 season average.
Also advancing on the ECC side of the tournament bracket was No. 1 seed Triton (Ill.), which routed No. 16 Ulster County (N.Y.), 107-59, to go to 30-4 for the season. Ulster is 18-10. Powerhouse Triton won its three regional games by an average 38.7 margin. No. 8 Danville Area (Ill.) defeated No. 9 Grand Rapids (Mich.), 78-70, and will face Triton on Wednesday.