A pair of underclassmen sparked the Hope College men's basketball team to an NCAA Division III Tournament-opening 93-91 victory over Augsburg, Minnesota on Friday night in Rock Island, Illinois.
Sophomore guard Riley Lewis of Williamston, Michigan (Williamston HS) scored a team-high 23 points off the bench, including a 3-pointer that gave the Flying Dutchmen an 88-83 lead with 46 seconds remaining.
Freshman center Preston Granger of Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Christian) added a career-high 21 points, including two on a dunk that snapped an 83-83 tie with 1:22 remaining. Hope (19-9 overall) never trailed again and survived a game-winning 3-point attempt.
The Flying Dutchmen advanced to face No. 9 Augustana in Saturday's 7 p.m. Central second-round game. Augustana (23-5) outlasted Greenville, Illinois - the nation's highest-scoring team — for a 123-111 victory Friday.
"We stuck together, played the whole 40 minutes," Lewis said. "Dante gave me a great pass (on the 3-pointer late), and I was able to knock it down. Coming off the bench is knowing my team needs a spark, and I was able to do that tonight."
Lewis finished shooting 80 percent from the floor (8-of-10). Granger was 83.3 percent (10-of-12).
"Sometimes I am hesitant and my coaches and teammates encourage me to be more aggressive and dunk it," Granger said. "I actually did that tonight, and it paid off."