TOP 10 SPORTS MOMENTS OF 2013: No. 6 — Columbia College men's basketball's 'amazing ride'

Sunday, December 22, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST
Columbia College guard Chantel Stanciel throws his fist in the air moments after a close game against Hope International University on March 15 at Municipal Auditorium. The Cougars continued their undefeated season into the NAIA Division I championship quarterfinals. The Cougars were eliminated from NAIA tournament with a loss to LSU-Shreveport, 79-78.

COLUMBIA — The Columbia College men's basketball team's 2012-13 season rewrote the record books.

Coach Bob Burchard called the season "the most amazing ride of my career." And rightfully so.

On Jan. 15, the Cougars earned the programs first No. 1 NAIA ranking. The team finished its regular season play Feb. 23, undefeated for the first time in program history. Columbia continued its win streak defeating Park for the AMC tournament championship on March 5.

With a no-loss record the Cougars earned the top seed in the NAIA National Tournament. The team advanced to the Elite 8 before being handed its first defeat of the season in heartbreaking fashion. 

After defeating Hope International by two in a down-to-the-wire competition the night before, the Cougars' first loss came at the hands of LSU-Shreveport, 79-78.

The team established a new school record of wins during a single season, finishing with 35. Three players were named NAIA Division I All-Americans. Ten players were named Academic All-AMC players. Three were named to the All-AMC first team. 

Burchard earned his 600th career win and was named 2012-13 National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year. The NAIA tournament appearance marks the 17th in Burchard's 25 years as head coach. 

Jordan Dressler, a senior, became the second player in school history to be named to the NAIA Division I All-American first team for his performance during the season. Dressler also earned the American Midwest Conference Player of the Year title for the second season in a row.

During the season, Dressler averaged 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds, starting in all 36 games of the season. In the three NAIA tournament games, Dressler averaged 21.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. 

Juniors Derrick Dilworth and Devin Griffin were both named as NAIA Division I All-American honorable mentions.

Dilworth, a transfer from Moberly Area Community College, was named AMC Newcomer of the Year, averaging 11.1 points during the season and starting all 36 games.

Griffin was the second leading scoring for the team, behind Dressler, earning an average of 12.8 points per game. Griffin also recorded 136 assists on the season.

Both Griffin and Dilworth have returned for the Cougars current season.

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