Generals hold off Richland, advance to National Title Game
Rochester, MN - For the first time since 1991, the Herkimer Generals will play for the National Championship.
Coach Matt Lee's squad held off a furious rally by the Richland College Thunderducks and advanced to the National Title Game with a 63-59 win on Friday evening in a NJCAA Division III National Semifinal Game in Rochester, Minnesota. The win, the 27th in a row for the Generals, improves their record to 30-1 heading into Saturday's night National Championship Game.
After taking a 27-21 lead into the locker room at halftime, the Generals controlled much of the second half and held a 14 point lead with just under 5 minutes to go at 52-38. But Richland stormed back and cut the Herkimer lead to 4 at 59-55 with just under one minute remaining. Richland had 2 possessions with a chance to cut the deficit even more but Herkimer's defense came up with big stops to hold the lead and get the win.
Derrick Felder (Yonkers, NY) once again led the way with 17 points, 6 assists and 4 steals. He also went 8-12 from the free throw line, including hitting 4 in the last minute to help hold off the Richland rally. Musa Pough (Brooklyn, NY) added 13 points and 9 rebounds and Keshaun Howard ( Brooklyn, NY) had 12 points and 7 rebounds. The Generals excelled on the defensive end, holding the Thunderducks to 39% shooting and the 59 points scored by Richland was their lowest of the season.
The Generals, the 2 seed in the tournament, will take on # 5 seed Rock Valley College (IL) in Saturday night's Championship Game. The Eagles come into Saturday's game with a record of 25-6 and came back from a 9 point halftime deficit to defeat # 8 Central Lakes by a score of 68-62 in Friday's other National Semifinal. Herkimer and Rock Valley will tip off at 8:00 EDT (7:00 CDT) to determine the 2019 Division III National Champion.