March 18, 1998 in Sports

Unseeded Central Wins Naia Opener

Associated Press

Leon Johnson scored 32 points to lead unseeded Central Washington past fifth seed Union (Tenn.) 73-64 in the first round of the NAIA Division I basketball tournament on Tuesday.

Central Washington (18-10) trailed 32-23 late in the first half, but went on an 18-4 run to go ahead 41-36 early in the second half.

Union (30-5) regained the lead at 55-50 midway through second half, but Central Washington moved ahead for good at 61-59 with just over 3 minutes remaining.

Johnson, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, scored 17 of Central Washington’s first 20 points of the game. Johnson added 15 points in the second half for the Wildcats.

Tryian Ridges and Gaylon Moore paced Union with 15 points each.

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