March 10, 2013
Northwest falls in overtime thriller
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Forty minutes of basketball was not enough to decide a winner Sunday as Northwest Missouri State and Central Missouri battled into overtime, before the Mules claimed a 79-76 win in the MIAA Tournament Championship.
The loss drops the Bearcats to 21-10 on the season and Northwest must now wait to see if reaching the MIAA Championship game was enough to earn a second straight trip to the NCAA tournament.
Central Missouri earns the league’s automatic bid as the Mules improved to 22-7 overall.
Bryston Williams did all he could to help ensure a Bearcat win. With seven seconds left in regulation, the junior took a missed UCM free throw the length of the floor and tied the game on a layup.
Williams continued his surge in the extra period finishing with a career-high 27 points and nine rebounds.
Northwest jumped out to a 70-67 lead before the Mules’ Dominique Long hit a jumper with 1:57 left to give UCM its first lead. Long finished with 16 points and was 4-for-5 from the free-throw line.
Both teams struggled at the free-throw line, but after dominating the boards the Bearcats were not able to pull in the final rebound.
A UCM foul sent Matt Wallace to the line with four seconds left in overtime and the Bearcats trailing 78-75. Wallace, who was fouled on a three-pointer, missed the second and intentionally missed the third.
However, Zach Bush pulled down the rebound for the Mules sealing the 78-76 victory. Northwest finished the game pulling in 48 rebounds compared to the Mules 32.
Playing two men down, DeAngelo Hailey and Conner Crooker, the Bearcats found themselves also without its top two scorers midway through the extra period. Dillon Starzl fouled out with seven seconds left in regulation and Williams committed his fifth foul in overtime.
Starzl was forced to sit most of the first half in foul trouble, but helped Northwest jump out to a 7-0 lead to start the game. Starzl finished with 13 points and six rebounds and was named to the all-Tournament Team.
Both teams entered halftime tied at 33-33, but the Bearcats ended with 20 turnovers.
Widgett Washington finished with 20 points and four steals to lead the Mules. The win was also the ninth straight for UCM over the Bearcats and gives them their sixth MIAA Tournament Championship.
Northwest and the MIAA entered the Central Region this year with the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and the Great American Conference. The Bearcats did not appear in either of the final two regional polls during the regular season and despite wins over Northeastern State and Fort Hays State could get left out of the tournament.
A live stream of the selection show can be seen on NCAA.com starting at 9:30 p.m. (CST) following the women’s selection show at 9 p.m. (CST). To watch Sunday’s selection show click the following link.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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