The Valor men advance to the NAIA Round of Eight


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Valor Men’s Basketball traveled just three hours north of Springfield to Kansas City, to take part in the NAIA National Tournament Round of 16, after winning the Waxahachie pod by upsetting a pair of higher seeded teams (#2 Florida Memorial, #10 Baker). The Valor took on the #11 Warriors of Lewis-Clark State from Idaho, looking to take another upset victory on Thursday night. A strong start to the game helped Evangel push out to an early lead, but LCSC would fight back and make it a narrow game in the final minutes as strong defense and clutch free throws from Manrique Alvarado iced the game, giving EU a 77-74 win to advance to the Round of Eight.

The Valor came out firing to open the game, as Garrett Davault hit a pair of three pointers to put Evangel ahead, 8-2. The Evangel defense came to play in the first half, as EU was able to hold the Warriors to just 29.4 percent shooting in the half. Stephen Salvi caught fire in the first half, hitting his second three pointer of the season to give Evangel an 18-point lead, 27-9. The tenacious Valor defense would not allow the Warriors to score double digit points until close to 12 minutes into the game. A free throw make from Logan Rodgers gave EU their largest lead of the half, 21 points, as the Valor would continue to use strong play to take a 17-point lead into the halftime break, 43-26.

With Lewis-Clark being a strong three point shooting team, it was only a matter of time before they found their stride. The Warriors would begin to hit shots to open the half, narrowing the Valor lead down slowly. A Manrique Alvarado basket with 14:58 remaining in the game would make it a 22-point game, Evangel’s largest lead of the evening. The 11th-seeded Warriors would not go down without a fight, as LCSC began to warm up from the floor and hit shots. A 27-8 run over the span of 10 minutes of play proved to hurt Evangel, as LCSC narrowed the game down to just three points, 64-61. With 4:55 remaining in the game, LCSC would score a bucket to tie the game up at 66-66. Josh Mason would score a tough and one jumper and Garrett Davault would begin to take over the game in the paint on offense. Back to back layups by Davault gave EU a 73-69 lead, but the Warriors would use their next possession to hit a three and make it a one-point game, 73-72. LCSC would use full court pressure but were unable to get a steal, fouling Manrique Alvarado, who nailed a pair of clutch free throws to make it 75-72. With nine seconds left, the Warriors would get an offensive rebound putback to make it another one-point lead for EU. Again the Warriors would be forced to foul and once again, it would be time for Manrique Alvarado to ice the game. His pair of free throws were both nothing but net and a desperation heave would go wide right, as EU had clinched their spot in the Round of Eight for the first time since the 2001-02 national championship season.


“I thought we executed our game plan really well for the first 30 minutes and then we kind of let our foot off the gas. Give LCSC credit, they made a gutsy run for the next seven minutes,” head coach Bert Capel stated. “I thought we did a great job finishing the last few minutes of the game as our defense got some big stops and Manrique hit some big free throws. Want to give a big shout out to all the fans who came out to support tonight, they really helped us finish out the game!”


  • Garrett Davault led the Valor with 22 points, the leading scorer for Evangel in back to back games.

  • Josh Pritchett passed off a team high seven assists.

  • Jace Coffie pulled down 11 rebounds, just missing a double double, scoring six points.

  • The Valor shot 49.2 percent from the floor on Thursday.


Evangel Men’s Basketball will take on #1 Grace Lancers on Saturday (Mar. 23) afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in the Round of Eight, with the winner qualifying for the Fab Four and winning the Naismith Quadrant.

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