Talk about a way to end the regular season. Freed-Hardeman Head Men's Basketball Coach Jim Sanderson won his 500th career game Saturday as the Lions defeated Missouri Baptist University 87-68 at the Brewer Sports Center.
Not only did Saturday's victory secure the historic win for Sanderson, it also allowed the Lions to lock up the four spot and home court advantage in the American Midwest Conference tournament Quarterfinal round set to begin Thursday. The Lions will face No. 5 William Woods University, a team they split with in the regular season, for a 7:00 PM tilt at the Brewer Sports Center.
Austin Dempsey and Grant Teichmann were instrumental in the milestone victory for Sanderson, as each put up 15 points in the contest. Both players caught fire from behind the arc, as Teichmann went 4-for-6 from three-point range while Dempsey went 2-for-4. Marcus Baldwin also reached double digits in the match-up with 12 points while also leading the Lions on the glass with six rebounds.
In his first season at FHU, Sanderson has led the Lions to a 19-11 record on the season and 14-8 record in conference play. For his career, he has posted a solid 500-307 record, a majority of which came at Faulkner (Ala.) University, where he won a National Championship in 2001.
In his 24 years at the helm with the Eagles, Sanderson posted a record of 481-296, good enough to rank him among the top 10 most-winning coaches in NAIA basketball history. He capped off his career at Faulkner University in 2013 with a NAIA National Tournament appearance after leading his team to a 29-6 record.
Throughout his time with the Eagles, Sanderson led his teams to six conference tournament championships and received Coach of the Year honors on five occasions, including National Coach of the Year honors in 1999 after leading his team to a 30-6 record.
Sanderson becomes the eighth Active NAIA Head Men's Basketball Coach at the Division 1 level to reach 500 wins and is one of two active coaches in the American Midwest Conference to reach the milestone.
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