Men’s Basketball Finishes as the Conference Runner-up

IU Kokomo fell short of their conference championship aspirations losing to IU Southeast 68-60.

Senior Xavier Hines protects the ball from a defender as he looks to make a pass.

The Indiana University Kokomo men’s basketball team hosted Indiana Southeast for the conference championship on Tuesday, February 28th. The Cougars put up a valiant effort but a poor 2nd half led to their demise losing 68-60.

Both teams exchanged runs but the Cougars led 35-34 at halftime. The game remained tight in the second half until the Grenadiers went on a 12-0 run late in the second half all but sealing the game and with that the conference championship.

The Cougars were led by senior Xavier Hines who scored 11 points, sophomore Noah Harris who scored 10, and Senior Zach Rinehart scoring 9. Rinehart also had a team-high 7 rebounds. Some sloppy handling of the rock killed the cougars as they turned the ball over a staggering 19 times.

The winner of the conference tournament gets an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships. This is why this game was so important to the team obviously a conference championship is huge but the bid to nationals and competing for the national championship is the real prize. All hope is not lost as on Thursday, March 2nd, the NAIA Selection Show will go underway. The Cougars have been receiving votes to be in consideration as one of the top 25 schools in the nation. What this means is that there is a chance they can get an at-large bid if they have accumulated enough votes throughout the year and the selection committee chooses them.