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(Kansas City, Mo.-excerpts from www.naia.org) In conjunction with the 80th annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division 1 Men's Basketball National Championship, four of the nation's best long-range shooters and four of the highest flying dunkers took to the court in the 4th Annual NABC-NAIA Shoot & Slam, presented by US Bank. The event took place at Municipal Arena in downtown Kansas City before the second set of quarterfinals took place. While Zach Taylor from Carroll (Mont.) took the 3-point title, Dillard University's Jalen McGaughy (JR/Ann Arbor, Mich.) finished runner-up. Henry French of Trinity International (Ill.) awed the judges to capture the Slam Dunk contest.
"I really enjoyed representing Dillard in the 3-point contest, even though we had to wake up at the crack of dawn (5:30 a.m.) for a practice session and interviews," said McGaughy, with a big smile on his face. "I thought I could win it all, but Zach caught fire in that final round. Overall it was a great experience because we even got to sign autographs for all the kids after the event, and it made me reflect on my own personal life because I just had a daughter not too long ago."
The 3-Point Contest was first and featured four shooters from across the country. Michael Gholston of Central Christian (Kan.), McGaughy from Dillard (La.) and IU East's (Ind.) Kyle Pipenger joined Taylor in the event. Each contestant got 60 seconds to hit as many 3-pointers as they could from five racks with five basketballs each. The first four basketballs were worth one point and the "money" ball, or final ball, could earn the shooter two points.
After the first round, Dillard's McGaughy out-shot the others to record 16 points. The last spot in the final round was up for grabs between Taylor and Gholston as they headed to a tiebreaker. The two shooters got one extra go around of 60 seconds and Taylor captured a spot in the final round after earning 17 points and eliminating Gholston as he came up short at 15 points.
The final round matched up McGaughy and Taylor for the title. McGaughy was first and he was able to connect for 13 points. Taylor, now in his third trip around the arc, netted 16 points to capture the honor and win the 3-Point Contest for 2017.
Last season, Trae Bergh from Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) earned 21 points which matches the highest amount in this event's four-year tenure.
For most of the latter half of the season, McGaughy led the NAIA in 3-point field goal percentage. He finishes the season ranked third in the same category.
16 points – Jalen McGaughy – Dillard (La.)
14 points – Zach Taylor – Carroll (Mont.)
14 points – Michael Gholston – Central Christian (Kan.)
12 points – Kyle Pipenger – IU East (Ind.)
17 points – Zach Taylor – Carroll (Mont.)
15 points – Michael Gholston – Central Christian (Kan.)
16 points – Zach Taylor – Carroll (Mont.)
13 points – Jalen McGaughy – Dillard (La.)