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Senior Kerry Green defends a Pikeville guard in an opening round loss of the NAIA D1 National Tournament Thursday.
Men's Basketball - Fri, Mar. 17, 2017
(23)Grand View
University of Pikeville

The 23rd ranked Grand View Vikings men's basketball team and the 6th seed in the Naismith portion of the bracket lost to the 10th ranked and 3rd seed Pikeville Bears Thursday morning in the opening round of the 2017 Buffalo Funds NAIA Division 1 Men's Basketball Championship to conclude their season.

The Vikings were not intimidated by the big stage early on as they jumped out to an early 20-13 lead over the Bears scoring several easy baskets in transition beating Pikeville down the floor. However, the Grand View offense would cool off in large part to the strong Pikeville defense and only shot 34% for the half. The Bears closed the half on a 24-6 run to take a 37-26 lead into halftime. Pikeville weathered Grand View's early run to shoot 45% from the floor including 3-7 from three point territory. The Vikings were led by Alex Welsch (Fontanelle, Iowa) who had eight points on 4-5 shooting in the first half.

In the second half Grand View continued to struggle offensively against Pikeville's size and strength although made several runs to make interesting. The Vikings cut the Pikeville lead to just seven points with 8:21 remaining on a three point shot by senior Kerry Green (Missouri City, Texas). Pikeville quickly responded and pushed the lead right back to 15 points and Grand View could never recover.

Grand View would shoot 22-61 from the field on the day and just 5-20 from three although they did go 13-17 from the charity stripe. The Vikings finished with three players in double figures led by Green who had 17 points, Chase Mullen (Friendswood, Texas) who had 14 points and Welsch who finished with 10.

Grand View finishes the year at 20-11 overall and took 2nd in the difficult Heart of America Conference in a year where the Heart had a 26 league game schedule. The Vikings had five All Conference players and qualified for the NAIA Division 1 National Tournament in just their second year at the Division 1 level.

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