No. 5 Columbus State falls to No. 1 Brookdale in NJCAA semifinal

Malieck Evans
Malieck Evans

LOCH SHELDRAKE, New York – The fifth seeded Columbus State Cougars fell to first seed Brookdale (Lincroft, New Jersey) 109-79 in the semifinal round of the NJCAA DIII National Tournament on Friday night.

Brookdale advances to the championship game while Columbus State will play for a third place national finish on Saturday.

Freshman forward Anthony Butler led the Cougars with 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting and led the game in rebounds, pulling down nine to just miss a double-double. 

Freshman guard Malieck Evans was the only other double digit scorer, sinking 15 points while grabbing seven boards and dishing out a team-high six assists.

Brookdale halted Columbus State with an unrelenting defense. The Cougars' top scorers - sophomore trio Mario Young, Chris Byrd, and Matthew Gierhart - combined for only 15 points. The Jersey Blues also held Columbus State to 40.8% shooting from the field while shooting 52.3% and scored 21 points off of the Cougars' 17 turnovers. On a higher note, Columbus State out-rebounded Brookdale 46-29, converting 20 offensive boards to 24 points.