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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Langston clinches NAIA National Championship berth

The Langston Lions’ championship hopes live on as they knock off the reigning national champion College of Idaho 58-52 to secure their spot in the tournament finale.

This marks the first national championship appearance for Langston in school history and the second for an HBCU in the past three years (Talladega in 2022 also coached by Chris Wright).

Cortez Mosley led the Lions with a team-high 14 points while D’Monte Brown came off the bench to score 12 points, including two 3-pointers.

This game was a defensive battle that saw both teams unable to take a double-digit lead for the first time in their respective tournament runs.

After ending the first half deadlocked at 27, the game began to change as the Lions went on a lengthy scoring drought.

Langston missed nine straight shots from the field over eight minutes that led to a 12-2 run.

The turning point came with 12:24 left in the game when Anthony Roy, who was fouled on a 3-point attempt, hit two of three from the free-throw line.

This sparked a run for the Lions as they got hot, hitting each of their next four shots (including three 3-pointers) to tie the game at 43 with 8:57 remaining in regulation.

Both teams would trade the lead back and forth before seeing the game tied 52 apiece with 44 seconds left.

The Lions turned the game completely in their favor with a sequence that began with a layup on offense. They then went down and got a block on the other end that led to a transition dunk to give them a 56-52 lead to seal the win.

Langston will face Freed Hardeman for the NAIA national championship at 8:00 p.m. ET Tuesday night on ESPN3.

The Lions are looking to become the first HBCU to claim an NAIA title since Texas Southern won it in 1977.

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