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National Title Aspirations Fall As Express Lose 80-75 To No. 12 Rend Lake In National Semifinals
 March 22, 2013

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Danville, IL---The Express men's basketball team saw their national title hopes dashed in an 80-75 loss to No. 12 Rend Lake College in the NJCAA D-II National Tournament Semifinals tonight.

The Express led 55-48 with just under 10 minutes left, and also held a 58-52 lead with 8:27 left, but Rend Lake dominated down the stretch and didn't miss from the foul line. 

Joe Retic II continued his outstanding play in the tournament with a game-high 25 points, three assists and three steals, while James Kelly added 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

Javon Rice made big 3-pointers throughout the game. He finished 4-for-8 from long range and totaled 14 points. Jay Marquette was strong off the glass as he totaled a game-high 13 rebounds (10 offensive).

Jeril Taylor led Rend Lake with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Bronson Verhines added 17 points and nine rebounds. Trice Whaley was their third double-figure scorer with 12. 

The Express were outrebounded 42-38, but did have five more offensive rebounds. Rend Lake shot 29-for-67 (43.3 percent), while the Express finished 27-for-77 (35.1 percent).

Rend Lake shot 11-for-12 from the foul line over the game's final four minutes.

The Express started out game well and led 19-10 with 13:10 remaining, but Rend Lake battled back and only trailed 35-32 at halftime.


With their loss tonight, the Express (26-9 overall) will take on the loser of the second semifinal between Brown Mackie and Moraine Valley going on right now.

The Express will be going for their second third place finish in program history in tomorrow's 5:30 p.m. (CT) game. The only other time that happened was in 1993-94. 

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