Stewartville grad helps college team win national title
OAKLAND CITY, Ind. — The Northwestern College Eagles won their first National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division I Men's Basketball National Tournament last Saturday, defeating the King College Tornados (Tenn.) 58-54.
Thomas Gisler of Stewartville played 10 minutes in the title game, scoring five points.
Northwestern, who trailed by 11 points midway through the game, took the lead on a three-pointer, breaking a 49-49 tie before winning by four. While a number of big shots secured Northwestern's victory, it was the team's defense that kept top-seeded King in check. The Eagles stepped it up to secure a 58-54 victory and the program's first NCCAA Division I national championship.
Northwestern, who was dubbed the tournament's Cinderella squad, finished the 2009-10 season with a 22-7 overall record, winning 18 of its final 19 games. The Eagles' 22 victories ranks second only to that of the 1997-98 team that won 25 games.
Northwestern College is a private Christian liberal arts college in St. Paul, offering more than 50 undergraduate majors, two master's degrees and several associate degree and certificate programs. More than 3,000 students representing 31 states and 28 countries are enrolled
Gisler played in 28 of the team's 29 games, including three starts, and averaged 15 minutes of playing time per game, with 5.5 scoring average. He was one of four players on the team to make between 31 and 37 three-pointers for the season. He is pursuing a degree in accounting.