ETTRICK, Va. – Justin Tene scored 16 points and had nine rebounds to lead three in double figures on Thursday as the Salem Tigers defeated the Bryant & Stratton-Buffalo Bobcats 76-59 for the 2023 USCAA Men’s Division I National Championship at Virginia State University.
Salem (19-12) jumped out to a 15-4 lead at the 13:02 mark after a pair of Ian Hardy free throws. That advantage grew to 22-9 following a Kapone Barley free throw with 8:41 left in the half. A Rodney Smith layup gave the Tigers their largest lead of the half at 35-18 with 1:41 on the clock.
In the second half, Salem pushed the lead to 24 points as Stan Smith drained a 3-pointer at the 15:04 mark for a 50-26 lead. Bryant & Stratton-Buffalo (19-8) cut the lead to 10 at 63-53 with on a 3-ball from Sam Dorrisant with 4:23 left. That was as close as the Bobcats got.
On the day, Salem was 27-of-56 from the floor (48.2%), hit 6-of-19 from 3-point range (31.6%) and 16-of-20 from the foul line (80%). They outrebounded Bryant & Stratton-Buffalo 47-25 as Tene paced them with nine. Joining him in double figures were Rodney Smith with 15 and Stan Smith with 11.
For Bryant & Stratton-Buffalo, DJ Little scored a game-high 22 points and Armonee Felder added 10 off the bench. The Bobcats were 21-of-61 from the floor (34.4%), 6-of-23 from 3-point range (26.1%) and 11-of-13 from the line (84.6%). Little added six steals, while Kalon Kimble had a team high five rebounds.
Apprentice School – Sr., G, Shawn Eley
Bryant & Stratton Buffalo – Sr., G, Sam Dorrisant
Bryant & Stratton Buffalo – Sr., G, DJ Little
Salem – Gr., G, Riley Heatherington
Salem – Gr., C, Justin Tene
Tournament MVP: Salem, Jr., G, Stan Smith