After winning only four games in Coach Jack Schrader's first season a year ago, the Wildcats more than exceeded expectations by setting a school record of 26 victories (against nine losses) and qualifying for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Menís Division I National Tournament for the first time since 1959.
And the Wildcats weren't satisfied with just going to the tournament.
C-SC advanced to the final eight of the 32-team tournament for the first time in school history. Along the way, the Wildcats defeated fifth-ranked Lewis-Clark State College of Idaho and the defending national champion, Concordia University of California. In doing so, the Wildcats entertained the thousands of spectators that took in the games at historic Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City with their high energy and fast-paced attack.
The Wildcats, led by senior guard Marshawn Norris, shattered the school record for 3-pointers in a season by making 383 treys this year. The previous mark of 210 was set in 2003-04. Individually, Norris set the single season mark for 3-pointers in a season by making 118 treys, smashing the old mark of 87 by Jordan Harris in 2007-08.
In addition to 3-pointers, the Wildcats also set school records for points scored (2,900), rebounds (1,506) and blocks (133) this season. C-SC garnered a 4-4 overall record against ranked opponents this season. The Wildcats were 18-2 when scoring 80 or more points in a game, and 20-1 when leading at halftime.
Individually, Norris received multiple accolades for his play this season. He was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference Player and Newcomer of the Year. He was also named to the NAIA All-America team (2nd team) and to the NAIA all-national tournament team.
Joining Norris on the All-America team was senior guard Austin Keaton, who was an honorable mention selection. He was also named to the All-HAAC second team for his play during the season.
Other accolades earned by the Wildcats were the HAACís Defensive Player of the Year by junior guard CJ Adams; and HAACí Coach of the Year by Schrader. Junior forward James Johnson was also honored by the HAAC with third team honors.
The teamís success ignited their fan base. Not only did the team have enthusiastic support from the entire Culver-Stockton community throughout the season, they also gained fans nationwide during the tournament with their unique style of basketball.
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