Huntsville, AL: Chalk up another first for Oakwood University as the Ambassadors took the lead against Florida College at the Men’s Division I Basketball National Championships playoffs of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The competition took place in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where All-Tournament member Terrell Black paced six in double figures for the University with 18 points and tournament MVP James Doggette added 17 as the Ambassadors defeated the fifth-seeded Florida College 90-76 for the 2008 USCAA Championship Saturday night.
Oakwood’s Ambassadors shot a blistering 32-of-60 from the floor (53.3%) and out-rebounded the Falcons 41-27. Dewitt Henley chipped in 14 points, Mike Conner and Brandon Broome scored 12 for Oakwood and Rodney Davis had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Ambassadors Coach, Tony Oliver, said they prayed before they stepped onto the court Saturday night as a part of their regular M-O before every game. Despite countless queries as to why the team refuses to participate in games that are played between sunset Friday and sunset Saturday, the Seventh-day Adventist team members and coach stood by their religious convictions of Sabbath observance, and the Sabbath rest seemed to work to their benefit.
The USCAA is composed of over 100 predominantly small colleges and universities across the United States. Seven teams were invited to participate in the men's tournament from states such as Maine, Florida, Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Virginia. Oakwood was listed as the seventh seed, the lowest ranking of all teams. To win the tournament, Oakwood had to win three games consecutively-- Thursday afternoon, Friday afternoon, plus the championship game on Saturday night.
This is Oakwood University’s first year participating in the USCAA, so the win is especially meaningful. The team returned to Huntsville on a flight arriving at the Huntsville International Airport on Sunday afternoon, March 2, where they were greeted by well-wishers, including University faculty, staff, and students.
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