Cornerstone preparing for high scoring Friends in tournament opener

Posted at 11:50 PM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 23:51:08-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Cornerstone men's basketball team opens the NAIA National Tournament Thursday morning at 11:30 a.m. EST in Sioux Falls, SD, against Friends (Kan).

"Number one, the willingness to survive; each team is different when their back is to the wall," senior center Sam Vander Sluis said.  "Number two, having poise under pressure and being able to develop. Even though the pressure is on, you've got parents who have driven 15 hours to come see you. You've got fans watching from back home. For me, I only have one game left guaranteed for my career."

The Golden Eagles have been a good defensive team this season, and they expect to be challenged by the Falcons, who average 88 points per game.

"It is a big difference, but it is a great team-bonding thing," sophomore guard Christian Rodriguez said. "It is just coming together and getting ready and staying focused."

The winner of Thursday morning's game advances to play the winner of College of Idaho and Vorhees Friday at 4 p.m.